From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Ostensible \Os*ten"si*ble\ ([o^]s*t[e^]n"s[i^]*b'l), a. [From L.
   ostensus, p. p. of ostendere to show, prop., to stretch out
   before; fr. prefix obs- (old form of ob-) + tendere to
   stretch. See Tend.]
   [1913 Webster]
   1. Capable of being shown; proper or intended to be shown.
      [R.] --Walpole.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. Outwardly appearing to be; shown to be; exhibited;
      apparent; evident.
      [1913 Webster +PJC]

   3. Declared; avowed; professed; pretended; -- often used as
      opposed to real or actual; as, an ostensible reason,
      motive, or aim. --D. Ramsay.
      [1913 Webster +PJC]
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