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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ A stranger came to the door, ostensibly to ask for directions.
▪ Diligently, even angrily, we express, discuss, and defend our ostensibly knowledgeable positions.
▪ Expected early in the year, it had been postponed, ostensibly because of the Gulf war.
▪ It is the absurdly pompous Pons who ostensibly pieces together the scattered evidence of Urim's past.
▪ Ramsay's other secret society, the Right Club, was also ostensibly closed down at the outbreak of war.
▪ The project in which everyone at Black Mountain was ostensibly engaged was building the community and personal growth.
▪ These external agents are beyond organizational control and, hence, ostensibly immune to corrective action.
▪ They were shot by one or more gunmen ostensibly delivering a painting, business people said.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ostensibly \Os*ten"si*bly\ ([o^]s*t[e^]n"s[i^]*bl[y^]), adv. In an ostensible manner; avowedly; professedly; apparently.

Ostensibly, we were intended to prevent filibustering into Texas, but really as a menace to Mexico.
--U. S. Grant.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1765, from ostensible + -ly (2).


adv. (context modal English) seemingly, apparently, on the surface


adv. from appearances alone; "irrigation often produces bumper crops from apparently desert land"; "the child is seemingly healthy but the doctor is concerned"; "had been ostensibly frank as to his purpose while really concealing it"-Thomas Hardy; "on the face of it the problem seems minor" [syn: apparently, seemingly, on the face of it]

Usage examples of "ostensibly".

The two were ostensibly engaged in checking the mechanical adequacy of the refrigerated vivaria.

A couch by midwives attended with wholesome food reposeful, cleanest swaddles as though forthbringing were now done and by wise foresight set: but to this no less of what drugs there is need and surgical implements which are pertaining to her case not omitting aspect of all very distracting spectacles in various latitudes by our terrestrial orb offered together with images, divine and human, the cogitation of which by sejunct females is to tumescence conducive or eases issue in the high sunbright wellbuilt fair home of mothers when, ostensibly far gone and reproductitive, it is come by her thereto to lie in, her term up.

Astoria sat quietly through the recital, at one point bending toward Van Deef, ostensibly to retrieve a fallen paper.

A tall woman named Risalyn, a Girdler from the look of her, the tawny Highlands kind, who collected those spilled things carefully when the girl had gone, and claimed she would return them to the spirit wood from whence the girl had ostensibly stolen them.

One guestless night when they were walking north away from the lights of the town and Pavo was filling a silver bag for an aquarium she was ostensibly making for Jalila, but in reality for herself, the horizon suddenly cracked and rumbled.

They come into parliament not to forward the great interests they ostensibly support, but with an eye to the railway jobbery, corporation business, concessions and financial operations that necessarily go on in and about the national legislature.

Cicely walked Lowrie to the gate, ostensibly to protect him from the twitching fingers of security.

He called me for a meeting before the meeting of the Museum of Plagiarism committee, ostensibly to discuss in what manner my perfidy would be presented to the committee.

Sworn accompany him to Segg, Gless had remained behind at Kellsjard, ostensibly to watch over Sifya.

Vova and Zoe came, too, ostensibly confounded by the twisted hand of fate that had allowed their little, unassuming, innocent Tania to be married to a soldier in the Red Army.

Ostensibly democratic, in that elections were a large feature of it, it was timocratic in that suffrage was not equal between all voters.

And as for Russia, ostensibly the freest country in the world, Tsarism in its worst days never imposed such despotic restrictions concerning the coming and going of foreigners, in one particular district, at any rate.

With the appearance of the dawn the Bravo had been led before those who ostensibly discharged the duties of his judges.

Moreover, governments throughout the world have become more assertive in exercising territorial jurisdiction over the hitherto ostensibly extraterritorial Net.

Ostensibly, Dom had chosen him to be his replacement, but all along it was Margarite who was pulling the strings like a ghost from the shadows.