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See also: ôtent



From Latin ostentus, ostentum, from ostendere (to show) (past participle ostensus and ostentus). See ostensible.


ostent (plural ostents)

  1. appearance; air; mien
    Use all the observance of civility / Like one well studied in a sad ostent / To please his grandam — Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
    In every object, mountain, tree and star-In every birth and life / As part of each-evolv'd from each-meaning, behind the ostent / A mystic cipher waits infolded. — Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass: Shakespere-Bacon's Cipher Project Gutenberg
  2. manifestation; token; portent
    We asked of God that some ostent might clear / Our cloudy business, who gave us sign. — Chapman.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.