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This country's ranking is ----- promising, but there are doubts whether they should be taken at face value.

I am not sure about whether such adverbs as "apparently" or "ostensibly" are good here. Are they? Which one is the most idiomatic one?

  • 2
    appears promising would work perfectly in that context. – KarlG Feb 3 at 15:01
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To look or appear one way, but possibly be another!

  • in semblant (1366)

  • quasi (1485)

  • cloakedly (1500)

  • appearingly (1554)

  • in show (1556)

  • apparently (1572)

  • appearingly (1578)

  • seemingly (1715)

  • outwardly

  • allegedly

Myriad considerations! The most idiomatic?

seem like X TFD

to appear to be like some kind of person or something.

But, I like one of your choices:

This country's ranking is ostensibily promising, but there are doubts whether they should be taken at face value.

ostensible TFD

Represented or appearing as such; ostensive:

As in: Vocabulary.com

His ostensible purpose was charity, but his real goal was popularity.

  • Where did you find the first list, if I may ask? – Sasan Feb 3 at 17:54
  • OED Historical Thesaurus – lbf Feb 3 at 18:06
  • Is there any source to give a definition such as "to look or appear one way, but possibly be another!" and it gives you the words? – Sasan Feb 4 at 11:10
  • not that i know of ... I I included link to that sentence. – lbf Feb 4 at 12:18
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"On first appearances," usually as a leading qualifying phrase:

"On first appearances, this country's ranking is promising."

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