His ostensible purpose was charity, but his real goal was popularity.
An example of ostensible is a reason that is given for a trip that may not be the real reason.
The ostensible reason for his visit to New York was to see his mother, but the real reason was to get to the Yankees game the next day.
Origin of ostensible
- French from Medieval Latin ostēnsibilis from Latin ostēnsus past participle of ostendere to show ob- ob- tendere to stretch ten- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition