I know that ostensive and ostensible are both adjectives, but can someone give me proper usage of each in their adjective forms? In their adverb forms, they almost sound identical.


Dictionary.com provides a sufficient starting point:


1. outwardly appearing as such; professed; pretended: an ostensible cheerfulness concealing sadness.
2. apparent, evident, or conspicuous: the ostensible truth of their theories.


1. clearly or manifestly demonstrative.
2. ostensible.

As far as I can tell, the only nuance between ostensible and ostensive is that ostensible means evident or apparent, sometimes pretended (externally), ostensive has a slight lean toward certain (internally). However, ostensive is not a widely used term, and is unlikely to be understood as different from ostensible in most contexts. So ostensible takes the cake in point of usefulness.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.