ostensible

When something is ostensible it appears to be the case but might not be. Research for a role is the ostensible reason for Nat's drinking. But I think it's because he just likes to drink.

Just because something is ostensible doesn't necessarily mean that it's not as it appears to be, only that there's a possibility of another reason. My ostensible reason for calling Brent was to ask about work. The real reason was that I was hoping he might ask me out. Turns out both the ostensible reason and the real reason were true!

Definitions of ostensible
1

adj appearing as such but not necessarily so

“the ostensible truth of their theories”
Synonyms:
apparent, seeming
superficial
concerned with or comprehending only what is apparent or obvious; not deep or penetrating emotionally or intellectually

adj represented or appearing as such; pretended

“His ostensible purpose was charity, his real goal popularity”
Synonyms:
ostensive
counterfeit, imitative
not genuine; imitating something superior

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