Ostentation is a pretentious or showy display (gaudy or flashy), usually designed to attract attention. Ostentation is a woman in a fur coat, covered in diamond jewelry, boarding a gold-plated private jet.

The noun ostentation stems from the Latin word ostentationem, meaning "vain display." It is often associated with material items that showcase one's wealth and luxury. Ostentation might come to the minds of the other parents if you drive a Lamborghini to drop your kids off at school. A movie star's gas-guzzling, 400-foot yacht may also be considered by many as a symbol of ostentation.

Definitions of ostentation

n pretentious or showy or vulgar display

Type of:
largeness, pretension, pretentiousness
the quality of being pretentious (behaving or speaking in such a manner as to create a false appearance of great importance or worth)

n a gaudy outward display

fanfare, flash
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
bluster, bravado
a swaggering show of courage
extravagant and conspicuous behavior intended to attract attention to yourself
ostentatious display of elegance
an ostentatious display (of effort or extravagance etc.)
an ostentatious and inappropriate display of learning
Type of:
exhibiting openly in public view

n lack of elegance as a consequence of being pompous and puffed up with vanity

inflation, ostentatiousness, pomposity, pompousness, pretentiousness, puffiness, splashiness
Type of:
the quality of lacking refinement and good taste

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.