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ostensibly


His ostensible purpose was charity, his real goal popularity.
  appearing as such, but possibly not
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ostensibly ostensible
Strongly Associated with:   ostentatious
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Samples:
  • His ostensible purpose was charity, his real goal popularity.
  • Whitney had stayed home, ostensibly to get dinner ready.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • They met a veiled person—ostensibly a woman—coming out of the back gate a few minutes after the cry for help was heard.
    Mark Twain  --  Pudd’nhead Wilson
  • Her immediate supervisor was a man named Kevin, who served as the ostensible technology officer at the utility, but who, in a strange twist, happened to know nothing about technology.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle

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  • I shared the most basic operating system with people who ostensibly had little in common with me.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • This "child chemical endangerment statute" was ostensibly passed to protect children living in households where there were meth labs or drug-trafficking operations.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • Henri ostensibly believes the additional exercise will help in my training, but the real reason is that he hopes it will help my body’s transition and pull my Legacies from their slumber, if that is indeed what they are doing.
    Pittacus Lore  --  I Am Number Four
  • They were all ostensibly doing everyday activities—washing a car, cutting the grass, getting the mail, playing ball, or just chatting.
    David Baldacci  --  Zero Day
  • Ostensibly we were still an elderly watchmaker living with his two spinster daughters above his tiny shop.
    Corrie Ten Boom  --  The Hiding Place
  • I had come to Brooklyn ostensibly "to write my guts out," as dear old Farrell had put it, not to play the hapless supernumerary in some tortured melodrama.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice

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  • Dougal held me by one arm; ostensibly to support me lest I stumble in my satin slippers, in reality to prevent any last-minute breaks for freedom.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • Every ten feet, each ostensible floor, the temperature dropped ten degrees.
    Dave Eggers  --  A Hologram for the King
  • There are occasions, Alvah, when the issues at stake are not the ostensible facts at all.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • Loren Johnson, Billies father, ostensibly worked as a truck driver, "but he never held any job for long," she says.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • It was a clever bit of psychological manipulation; while ostensibly a criticism, the line contained the implication that the Fugees themselves were special.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United
  • I own that your question embarrasses me, Valentine, for I cannot say that the count has rendered me any ostensible service.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • He was brushed and washed at the usual hour, and set off with his son to pursue his ostensible calling.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • The ostensible reason why Ahab did not go on board of the whaler we had spoken was this: the wind and sea betokened storms.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Then with a red head of hair, and an appropriate dress, I took my station in the business part of the city, ostensibly as a match-seller but really as a beggar.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Up to a year or two ago it had been the custom to kill horses in the yards—ostensibly for fertilizer; but after long agitation the newspapers had been able to make the public realize that the horses were being canned.
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle
  • But, while he was making this ostensible sacrifice to general considerations, Magua never lost sight of his individual motives.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • I only knew that one day, which was tiresomely like all the others before it, I sat in the Railway office, ostensibly waiting to be interviewed.
    Maya Angelou  --  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • This was ostensibly for patients, but he opened it to the townspeople as well, charging more for admission than the usual public bathhouse did; its tubs, after all, were of marble.
    John Hersey  --  Hiroshima
  • Since the owner’s house was burned and the owner ostensibly burned with it, the employees of the tannery, out of respect, did not go to work.
    John Steinbeck  --  East of Eden
  • The ostensible purpose of Odysseus’ visit is to consult the prophet Teiresias, who gives him only one useful piece of advice: not to lay hands on the cattle of the Sun god when he comes to his island of Thrinakia.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • After numerous misadventures, Daisy dies, ostensibly by contracting malaria on her midnight jaunt.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • He must rest his weight on his elbows when they make love, ostensibly to avoid hurting her breasts but actually to keep her from having to touch or feel too much of him.
    Toni Morrison  --  The Bluest Eye
  • His ostensible reason, however, was to ask whether Mr. Woodhouse’s party could be made up in the evening without him, or whether he should be in the smallest degree necessary at Hartfield.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • The Overlook Hotel, a white elephant that has been run lucklessly by almost a dozen different groups and individuals since it first opened its doors in 1910, is now being operated as a security-jacketed "key club," ostensibly for unwinding businessmen.
    Stephen King  --  The Shining
  • Surda . Little information reached Carvahall about that distant country, but Roran at least knew that, although Surda and the Empire were ostensibly at peace, Surdans lived in constant fear that their more powerful neighbor to the north would invade them.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • The festivities concluded with a polo match, staged, ostensibly, for the entertainment of the visiting dignitaries.
    Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin  --  Three Cups of Tea
  • The others instantly withdraw their proposal, ostensibly through their "Unselfishness", but really because they don’t want to be used as a sort of lay figure on which the first speaker practises petty altruisms.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Screwtape Letters
  • The simple act of moving their heads up and down, ostensibly for another reason entirely — was sufficient to cause them to recommend a policy that would take money out of their own pockets.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point
  • I wonder if maybe it ever occurred to you that your argument, while ostensibly based on logic, might have less intellectual than libidinous roots.
    Meg Cabot  --  The Princess Diaries
  • Her new editor was in town for the evening, ostensibly just passing through from Atlanta and wanting to stop in and be social.
    Sarah Dessen  --  This Lullaby
  • My ostensible errand on this occasion was to get measured for a pair of shoes; so I discharged that business first, and when it was done, I stepped across the clean and quiet little street from the shoemaker’s to the post-office: it was kept by an old dame, who wore horn spectacles on her nose, and black mittens on her hands.
    Charlotte Bronte  --  Jane Eyre
  • ROS (near tears) : I’m not going to stand for it! A FEMALE FIGURE, ostensibly the QUEEN, enters.
    Tom Stoppard  --  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
  • When romances do really teach anything, or produce any effective operation, it is usually through a far more subtile process than the ostensible one.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • What point there would be, in telephoning a state attorney when I’m ostensibly under arrest?
    Franz Kafka  --  The Trial
  • After a while she realized that the man in the jockey cap was giving a quiet little performance for this group; he moved gravely about with a rake, ostensibly removing gravel and meanwhile developing some esoteric burlesque held in suspension by his grave face.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • After this music, the priest who stood behind the royal table said a noble long grace in ostensible Latin.
    Mark Twain  --  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
  • But man, even to himself, is a palimpsest, having an ostensible writing, and another beneath the lines.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • He liked to put himself forward and entertain the company, ostensibly on equal terms, of course, though in reality he was on a servile footing with them.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • It was in an ostensible vein of sarcasm that he had asked me to call him, and that he himself called me, "my master."
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann’s Way
  • The doctor’s appointment was ostensibly a routine visit.
    Amy Tan  --  The Bonesetter’s Daughter
  • ’twas ostensibly ominous in the overview To be ’orribly and onerously overrun.
    Ian McEwan  --  Atonement
  • He had, ostensibly, come in to borrow a safety-pin of her.
    Ford Madox Ford  --  The Good Soldier
  • This indelicate comment drew an immediate scowl from Lou, and just as quickly Oz looked out the window, ostensibly to admire the countryside.
    David Baldacci  --  Wish You Well
  • But she soon found a curious correspondence between the ostensibly chance position of the cows and her wishes in this matter, till she felt that their order could not be the result of accident.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • Because once he started again . well she wouldn’t interrupt him while he was working, but she’ would take each day’s output as soon as he was done, ostensibly to fill in the missing letters, but actually , he knew this by now, just as sexually acute men know which dates will put out at the end of the evening and which ones will not , to get her fix.
    Stephen King  --  Misery
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Associated words [difficulty]:   ostensibly [3] , ostentatious [2]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Human Behavior, Philosophy, Sports
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