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

adj appearing as such but not necessarily so

“the ostensible truth of their theories”
apparent, seeming
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”
counterfeit, imitative
not genuine; imitating something superior

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