V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: seeming to be true or genuine, but open to doubt

Synonyms: seemingly, apparently, evidently, professedly

Antonyms: genuinely, truly, basically

Tips: When something is done ostensibly, its truth has not been proven. Ostensibly can be used as a more sophisticated way of saying "apparently." It can also be used to describe something presented as being true or appearing to be true, but usually hiding a different motive or meaning. For example, "The security guards were ostensibly looking for people trying to bring alcohol into the stadium, but I think it was more of a counter-terrorism effort." The related adjective ostensible means "apparent or evident."

Usage Examples:

The strict rules against inter-office dating were ostensibly created to avoid sexual harassment lawsuits, but many employees feel they are, nevertheless, unfair. (seemingly, professedly)

The security team used strict searching measures ostensibly aimed at preventing alcoholic beverages in the stadium. (apparently)

He was ostensibly traveling to Mexico on vacation, but it is now believed he is running from the law. (seemingly, professedly)

Her silence was ostensibly meant to signal her shyness, but I knew that she just didn't want to talk. (apparently)

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