Ostentation definition

ŏstĕn-tāshən, -tən-
Pretentious display meant to impress others; pretentious showiness.
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(archaic) The act or an instance of showing; an exhibition.
noun
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Showy display, as of wealth or knowledge; pretentiousness.
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Ambitious display; vain show; display intended to excite admiration or applause.
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Ostentation is an overdone, pretentious, vulgar or tacky display of wealth or knowledge.

An example of ostentation is a solid gold toilet seat with diamond-studded flusher.

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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
ostentation
Plural:
ostentations

Origin of ostentation

  • Middle English ostentacioun from Old French ostentacion from Latin ostentātiō ostentātiōn- from ostentāre frequentative of ostendere to show ostensible

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Originated 1425-75 from late Middle English ostentacioun, from Middle French ostentation, from Latin ostentātiō, equivalent to ostentātus (past participle of ostentāre, to display or exhibit), frequentative of ostendere (to present, display) + -iōn.

    From Wiktionary