I'm not sure I've remembered the word right as I've only ever heard it spoken. My History professor would say something like "The Emperor used the tax money extensibly to defend the people". What he meant was that the Emperor was supposed to use the money for the defense of the people, and he did, but a lot of the money also went to his personal luxury. I've searched the web for the word, but I always get "extensively" and the definition doesn't make sense with the context I've heard it in. Does anyone know the word or the definition which he was using?

  • Extensively seems more likely - more or less the same as widely. Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 0:14
  • 4
    I think it may have been ostensibly.
    – DjinTonic
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


The word you're looking for is ostensibly. From OALD:

according to what seems or is stated to be real or true, when this is perhaps not the case

Troops were sent in, ostensibly to protect the civilian population.

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