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Is there a single word that means "just for show", meaning that someone is doing something outwardly to trick the world into thinking they are something that they are not?

  • 1
    Look up synonyms for 'hypocrisy'. – Mitch Nov 28 '14 at 18:31
  • 1
    Facade, window dressing. – Drew Mar 25 '16 at 23:43
  • Ostentatious (ostentatiousness). – Drew Mar 26 '16 at 1:59
  • "For show" seems pretty good to me. – Hot Licks Mar 26 '16 at 12:20
4

"Ostensibly" is a good choice.

From Oxford Dictionaries online: "Apparently or purportedly, but perhaps not actually"

[http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/ostensibly]

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  • I'd include the definition :) – RedCaio Mar 26 '16 at 3:45
  • @RedCaio - Okay. – Oldbag Mar 26 '16 at 11:56
  • Okay... I think I got it now. (And I thought I was so cool for figuring out the linky-thing.) – Oldbag Mar 27 '16 at 12:48
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I believe there is no single word meaning "saying or doing something just for the show".

If you're looking for a noun defining the person who does it, I suggest

  • "a phoney" - an insincere or pretentious person (TFD)

  • "a beguiler" - someone who leads you to believe something that is not true (TFD)

  • "a pseudo (noun)" - a pseudo-scholar, a pseudo-intellectual. (a pseudo-intellectual would be someone who pretends to know more than he actually does and exhibits memorized information ostentatiously)

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2

If you're into urban language at all, poser fits the bill.I believe you will also find it in several dictionaries defined as such.

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2

There is a term that comes close to this meaning:

"Face value"

If something is taken at face value then it is evaluated based on its outward appearance.

If you are looking for a more literal meaning:

"Decoration"

or

"Ornament"

A decortaion by its very definition is "just for show" and an ornament is specifically not supposed to be used, existing again "only for show"

If you mean the ideal of being showy but not having any depth, that is a person who care more for appearances than real things, then suitable words would be:

"Shallow", "Pretentious", "Fake" or "Image obsessed".

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  1. disingenuous

    not candid or sincere

    disingenuous could be used to describe someone is doing something outwardly to trick the world into thinking they are something that they are not.

  2. superficial

    existing or occurring at or on the surface

    superficial as well can be used to describe someone is doing something outwardly to trick the world into thinking they are something that they are not.

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1

A ruse, charade, subterfuge.

ruse

a trick or act that is used to fool someone, a wily subterfuge

-Merriam-Webster

His donation of millions to local charities was a ruse to mask his underhanded dealings with the scum of society.

charade

an empty or deceptive act or pretense

-Merriam-Webster

Her attention to the duchess was a charade to garner the affections of the woman's wealthy husband for herself.

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1

Sanctimonious cambridge dict. ​showing that you ​believe you are ​morally ​better, or more ​religious:

sanctimonious remarks

Sanctimonious m-w dict 1 : hypocritically pious or devout 2 obsolete : possessing sanctity : holy

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Consider, mealymouth

mealymouthed (or mealy-mouthed)

: not plain and straightforward : devious a mealymouthed politician

Example of mealymouthed in a sentence: a mealymouthed compliment from a jealous competitor

M-W

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-1

That person may be called a popinjay

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/popinjay

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  • Can you add links and quotes to your answer to show where others have used the word in that way? Perhaps a definition? – jejorda2 Feb 18 '16 at 15:26

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