• WordNet 3.6
    • n ostentation pretentious or showy or vulgar display
    • n ostentation lack of elegance as a consequence of being pompous and puffed up with vanity
    • n ostentation a gaudy outward display
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ostentation A show or spectacle.
    • Ostentation The act of ostentating or of making an ambitious display; unnecessary show; pretentious parade; -- usually in a detractive sense. "Much ostentation vain of fleshly arm.""He knew that good and bountiful minds were sometimes inclined to ostentation ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ostentation Display; especially, public display.
    • n ostentation A sight or spectacle; show; ceremony.
    • n ostentation Ambitious display; pretentious parade; vain show; display intended to excite admiration or applause.
    • n ostentation Synonyms Show, Display, Parade, Ostentation, flourish, dash. Show is the most general word for the purposed exhibition of that which might have been kept private; as such, it includes the others. Ostentation is always bad; the others may be good in certain relations. Parade and display are more suggestive of the simple act, ostentation of the spirit: as, to make a parade of one's learning; it was ostentation that led the Pharisees to make a parade or display of their charities and prayers. Parade is a matter of vanity; ostentation, of vanity, pride, or ambition.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Ostentation act of making a display: ambitious display: display to draw attention or admiration: boasting
    • ***


  • John Locke
    “Fashion for the most part is nothing but the ostentation of riches.”
  • Edwin Hubbel Chapin
    “Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy.”
  • William Hutton
    William Hutton
    “The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.”
  • Seneca
    “That which is given with pride and ostentation is rather an ambition than a bounty.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. ostentatio,: cf. F. ostentation,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. ostendĕre, ostensum, to show.


In literature:

He attudinized in spite of himself, and thought of nothing but ostentation, and of being noticed.
"The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume IV (of 8)" by Guy de Maupassant
But let us now see whether by dissuading his friends from a vain ostentation he did not exhort them to the pursuit of virtue.
"The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates" by Xenophon
Frank waited, quite simply and without ostentation.
"None Other Gods" by Robert Hugh Benson
Save in the ordering of the repast itself there was a marked absence of ostentation.
"The Black Douglas" by S. R. Crockett
It is better; the other would seem like ostentation in a woman who works.
"Rosemary" by C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
Anything like show or ostentation is foreign to French's whole nature.
"Sir John French" by Cecil Chisholm
It is the safest way of hoarding, and happily combines saving with ostentation.
"Letters from Egypt" by Lucie Duff Gordon
Avoid Ostentation, 172 2.
"A Practical Directory for Young Christian Females" by Harvey Newcomb
At all this ostentation I could not but smile; but no man ever had greater need of pomp to hold his own against uneven odds than Radisson.
"Heralds of Empire" by Agnes C. Laut
Whether this proceeded from piety, from ostentation, or from any other motive, it matters not.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. XI. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke

In poetry:

From seas whose cyclic ebb and sweep,
Unseen to Life's oblivious hours,
Are ostent of the changeless Pow'rs
That hold dominion of the Deep.
"The Testimony of the Suns" by George Sterling
The crisis suited not with pomp, and she
Whose anguish bears the seal of consecration
Had wished his Christian obsequies should be
Thus void of ostentation.
"Obsequies Of Stuart" by John Reuben Thompson
IN vision I roamed the flashing Firmament,
So fierce in blazon that the Night waxed wan,
As though with an awed sense of such ostent;
And as I thought my spirit ranged on and on
"In Vision I Roamed" by Thomas Hardy

In news:

Friendship, like all truth, delights in plainness and simplicity, and it is the counterfeit alone that needs ornament and ostentation.
Solid and Cozy, Short on Ostentation .
No sense, save for the logic of pure ostentation.
It's ostentation for its own sake when one of the richest men in America and his trophy wife attempt to build themselves a palace—only to find themselves on a collision course with an economic reality they helped to create.
When the curtain goes up on season's opening at the Metropolitan Opera, the audience presents a picture of aristocratic splendor and ostentation.

In science:

It could be due to a decrease in royal power or to a poorer economy. “They are smaller than their predecessors, and are built of low quality local stone”. That is, less resources for ostentation, echoing Pliny.
Abusir: from Pliny the Elder to Google Maps