What It Means
: attracting or seeking to attract attention, admiration, or envy often by gaudiness or obviousness : overly elaborate or conspicuous : characterized by, fond of, or evincing ostentation
ostentatious in Context
Since striking it rich, Edwin has embraced a more ostentatious lifestyle, wearing expensive designer clothes, driving high-end sports cars, and frequenting the trendiest upscale nightclubs.
"The ostentatious chandeliers in the Crystal Room have been replaced with elegant-but-unassuming lighting." — Damon Cline, The Augusta Chronicle, 17 Apr. 2019
Did You Know?
Showy, pretentious, and ostentatious all mean "given to outward display," but there are subtle differences in their meanings. Showy implies an imposing or striking appearance, but usually also implies cheapness or bad taste. Pretentious suggests an appearance of importance not justified by a thing's value or a person's standing. Ostentatious is the biggest show-off, stressing the vanity of the display. English speakers derived ostentatious from the noun ostentation, which can be traced back, via Middle French, to the Latin verb ostentare (meaning "to display"), a frequentative form of the verb ostendere, meaning "to show."
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