Origin of ostentationMiddle English ostentacioun from Classical Latin ostentatio from ostentare from ostendere: see ostensible
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.
- Pretentious display meant to impress others; pretentious showiness.
- Archaic The act or an instance of showing; an exhibition.
Origin of ostentationMiddle English ostentacioun from Old French ostentacion from Latin ostentātiō ostentātiōn- from ostentāre frequentative of ostendere to show ; see ostensible .
(usually uncountable, plural ostentations)
- Ambitious display; vain show; display intended to excite admiration or applause.
- His library of 70,000 volumes was one of his forms of ostentation, and so was his gallery of pictures.
- He had been accused of vanity and ostentation in his office, but his reputation for ability and integrity as a judge was high even with his enemies.
- " I am not conscious," says he, " of having ever bought a book from a motive of ostentation; every volume, before it was deposited on the shelf, was either read or sufficiently examined "; he also mentions that he soon adopted the tolerating maxim of the elder Pliny, that no book is ever so bad as to be absolutely good for nothing.
- At the most important crisis of his life in 1783, he almost made an ostentation of disorder and of indifference not only to appearances, but even to decency.
- " I find that even those that have sought knowledge for itself, and not for benefit or ostentation, or any practical enablement in the course of their life, have nevertheless propounded to themselves a wrong mark, namely, satisfaction (which men call Truth) and not operation."