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Ostensible definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

OSTEN'SIBLE, a. [L. ostendo, to show.]
1. That may be shown; proper or intended to be shown.
2. Plausible; colorable.
3. Appearing; seeming; shown, declared or avowed. We say, the ostensible reason or motive for a measure may be the real one, or very different from the real one. This is the common, and I believe the only sense in which the word is used in America.
One of the ostensible grounds on which the proprietors had obtained their charter -

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

adj
1: appearing as such but not necessarily so; "for all his apparent wealth he had no money to pay the rent"; "the committee investigated some apparent discrepancies"; "the ostensible truth of their theories"; "his seeming honesty" [syn: apparent, ostensible, seeming]
2: represented or appearing as such; pretended; "His ostensible purpose was charity, his real goal popularity" [syn: ostensible, ostensive]

Merriam Webster's

adjective Etymology: French, from Latin ostensus, past participle of ostendere to show, from obs-, ob- in the way + tendere to stretch more at ob-, thin Date: circa 1771 1. intended for display ; open to view 2. being such in appearance ; plausible rather than demonstrably true or real <the ostensible purpose for the trip> Synonyms: see apparent

Oxford Reference Dictionary

adj. concealing the real; professed (his ostensible function was that of interpreter). Derivatives: ostensibly adv. Etymology: F f. med.L ostensibilis f. L ostendere ostens- stretch out to view (as OB-, tendere stretch)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Ostensible Os*ten"si*ble, a. [From L. ostensus, p. p. of ostendere to show, prop., to stretch out before; fr. prefix obs- (old form of ob-) + tendere to stretch. See Tend.] 1. Capable of being shown; proper or intended to be shown. [R.] --Walpole. 2. Shown; exhibited; declared; avowed; professed; apparent; -- often used as opposed to real or actual; as, an ostensible reason, motive, or aim. --D. Ramsay.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

Ostensible is used to describe something that seems to be true or is officially stated to be true, but about which you or other people have doubts. (FORMAL) The ostensible purpose of these meetings was to gather information on financial strategies. = alleged ADJ: ADJ n ostensibly ...ostensibly independent organisations... ADV: usu ADV with cl/group

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

a. 1. Shown, declared, avowed, assigned, manifest, apparent, exhibited, presented, visible. 2. Specious, plausible, colorable, pretended, professed.

Moby Thesaurus

Barmecidal, Barmecide, airy, alleged, apparent, apparitional, appearing, arrant, autistic, avowed, blatant, bold, chimeric, claimed, colorable, colored, conspicuous, deceptive, delusional, delusionary, delusive, delusory, dereistic, dreamlike, dreamy, erroneous, fallacious, false, fantastic, flagrant, gilded, glaring, hanging out, hypocritical, illusional, illusionary, illusive, illusory, imaginary, in name only, in relief, in the foreground, meretricious, misleading, notable, noticeable, notorious, obtrusive, outstanding, outward, phantasmagoric, phantasmal, phantom, plausible, pretended, pretexted, professed, prominent, pronounced, purported, salient, seeming, self-deceptive, self-deluding, so-called, specious, spectral, staring, stark-staring, sticking out, striking, superficial, supposed, supposititious, surface, tinsel, to the eye, unactual, unfounded, unreal, unsubstantial, visible, visionary




 


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