ex·​hi·​bi·​tion·​ism | \ˌek-sə-ˈbi-shə-ˌni-zəm \

Definition of exhibitionism 

1a : a perversion in which sexual gratification is obtained from the indecent exposure of one's genitals (as to a stranger)

b : an act of such exposure

2 : the act or practice of behaving so as to attract attention to oneself

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Other Words from exhibitionism

exhibitionist \ ˌek-​sə-​ˈbish-​nist , -​ˈbi-​shə-​ \ noun or adjective
exhibitionistic \ ˌek-​sə-​ˌbi-​shə-​ˈni-​stik \ adjective
exhibitionistically \ ˌek-​sə-​ˌbi-​shə-​ˈni-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of exhibitionism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This cycle of mimetic exhibitionism holds even for metaphysical things like moral values, which in a world colonized by capitalism have become a wearable commodity. Susan Crawford, WIRED, "Mark Zuckerberg Plays the Scapegoat for Our Facebook Sins," 17 Apr. 2018 With this kind of exhibitionism, de Waart had nothing to do. Marcus Overton, sandiegouniontribune.com, "A master at work: Edo de Waart makes Mahlerian magic with San Diego Symphony," 10 Mar. 2018 Instead of the exhibitionism of peers like Tracey Emin or Damien Hirst, Mr. Hume practices self-restraint, modestly producing near-abstractions that opaquely deflect straightforward narratives or easy interpretations. Barbara Pollack, New York Times, "Gary Hume Loves His Mother. His Art Is a Valentine to Her.," 27 Oct. 2017 By all means, go to mother! and enjoy its roller-coaster-of-weird exhibitionism. Laura Beck, Cosmopolitan, "13 Times Critics Couldn't Believe How Weird JLaw's New Movie Mother! Is," 12 Sep. 2017 As the pendulum swings toward maximalism, a look characterized by a profusion of pattern and design exhibitionism, the candid expressiveness of nudes seems fresh. Julie Lasky, WSJ, "Hanging Nude Paintings in Your Home: So Out, They’re In," 27 July 2017 His Lola perfectly epitomized the classic drag queen’s panache for exhibitionism and camp. Tirdad Derakhshani, Philly.com, "Jos N. Banks kills it as drag queen Lola in 'Kinky Boots' at Academy of Music," 4 Oct. 2017 Officials have also noted that voyeurism and exhibitionism will not be tolerated. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Parisian Nudists Get Designated Area to Frolic “au Naturel”," 31 Aug. 2017 Novogratz conveys Spike’s proclivity for exhibitionism and incessant yet shallow sunniness, and Keri Hellmuth aptly portrays Sonia and Vanya’s sometimes precognitive cleaning woman, aptly named Cassandra, as a comically eccentric misfit. Orange County Register, "Durang channels Chekhov with ‘Vanya and Sonia’ in Fullerton," 17 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exhibitionism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exhibitionism

1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of exhibitionism was in 1891

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English Language Learners Definition of exhibitionism

: behavior that is meant to attract attention to yourself


ex·​hi·​bi·​tion·​ism | \ˌek-sə-ˈbish-ə-niz-əm \

Medical Definition of exhibitionism 

1a : a perversion marked by a tendency to indecent exposure

b : an act of such exposure

2 : the act or practice of behaving so as to attract attention to oneself

More from Merriam-Webster on exhibitionism

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about exhibitionism

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noxious or harmful

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