Definition of ostension in English:


Pronunciation /ɒˈstɛnʃn/


  • 1 rare The action of showing, exhibiting, or making manifest; exhibition, display, manifestation; an instance of this.

  • 2Philosophy
    = ostensive definition .

  • 3Christian Church
    rare, historical The showing of the consecrated elements to the congregation at the Eucharist; (also) a similar display of some other object of veneration.


Late 15th century; earliest use found in William Caxton (1415x24–1492), printer, merchant, and diplomat. From Middle French, French ostension action of showing and its etymon classical Latin ostensiōn-, ostensiō (2nd century a.d.; in post-classical Latin also as ostentio, from late 2nd or early 3rd century) from ostens-, past participial stem of ostendere + -iō.