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Definition appearing as such, but possibly not
  • His ostensible purpose was charity, his real goal popularity.
ostensible = appearing as such, but possibly not
  • 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
  • ostensibly = appearing as such, but possibly not
  • Whitney had stayed home, ostensibly to get dinner ready.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • ostensibly = appearing as such, but really for another reason
  • He had also reasons, deep rather than ostensible, for being satisfied with his own appearance.
    Eliot, George  --  Middlemarch
  • Their real preparations they masked beneath ostensible ones.
    Wells, H.G.  --  The War in the Air
  • Mr Verloc cared but little about his ostensible business.
    Conrad, Joseph  --  The Secret Agent
  • The ostensible reason why Ahab did not go on board of the whaler we had spoken was this: the wind and sea betokened storms.
    Melville, Herman  --  Moby Dick I-LXVII
  • the ostensible truth of their theories
  • I shared the most basic operating system with people who ostensibly had little in common with me.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • Carmichael had ridden out of Pine, ostensibly on the trail of the Mexicans who had executed Beasley's commands.
    Zane Grey  --  The Man of the Forest
  • On the Friday Peter Holmes drove up to Melbourne in his little car, ostensibly to try and find a garden seat.
    Nevil Shute  --  On the Beach
  • 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
  • There are occasions, Alvah, when the issues at stake are not the ostensible facts at all.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • A policeman, a detective, returned to our home, ostensibly to follow up on April's disappearance, and upon sight of him, I ordered him from our home.
    Stephen King  --  Rose Red
  • The leafless tree was behind our ostensible lives for many months.
    Virginia Woolf  --  A Sketch of the Past
  • 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
  • He was ostensibly watching for speeders, but in actual fact he was cooping.
    Stephen King  --  Cujo
  • And finally, Astaroth's participation would certainly explain how such an ostensibly unimposing gladiator had reached the championship match....
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Fiend And The Forge
  • But if the ostensible executive needs the approval of an executive council before he can act, most of the same comments apply.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers — Modern English Edition 2
  • 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

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