ex·​hi·​bi·​tion·​ism | \ ˌek-sə-ˈbi-shə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce exhibitionism (audio) \

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 How to pronounce exhibitionism (audio) , -​ˈbi-​shə-​ \ noun or adjective
exhibitionistic \ ˌek-​sə-​ˌbi-​shə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce exhibitionism (audio) \ adjective
exhibitionistically \ ˌek-​sə-​ˌbi-​shə-​ˈni-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce exhibitionism (audio) \ adverb

Examples of exhibitionism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is supposed to be the season of unleashed, exuberant exhibitionism. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 18 June 2021 Most scat singing over the past 50 years has been rote exhibitionism, a cheap thrill that puts hip listeners to sleep. Will Friedwald, WSJ, 16 Mar. 2021 As biologists have understood since Charles Darwin, such exhibitionism evolves when females choose to mate with males that have the most extravagant appearances and displays—a proxy for fitness. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, 3 Mar. 2021 While taking black American social conditions as his subject, his movies are primarily about his out-of-the-closet exhibitionism. Armond White, National Review, 3 Mar. 2021 There’s plenty in common, of course, between the spaces kinksters use for exhibitionism and literal exhibition spaces. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, 3 Feb. 2021 Shrum believes that ritual disrobement is more than mere exhibitionism, and that beads are crucial to the custom. Doug Maccash | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, 9 Dec. 2020 Then, in a burst of exhibitionism, some of them expose their breasts or other body parts in exchange for cheap plastic beads. Doug Maccash | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, 3 Dec. 2020 As existence increasingly became exhibitionism, Shelton made being a private success — being a good person making good work — more valuable than being a public one. Soraya Roberts, Longreads, 29 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for exhibitionism

Time Traveler

The first known use of exhibitionism was in 1891

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Statistics for exhibitionism

Last Updated

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exhibitionism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exhibitionism. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for exhibitionism



English Language Learners Definition of exhibitionism

disapproving : behavior that is meant to attract attention to yourself


ex·​hi·​bi·​tion·​ism | \ ˌek-sə-ˈbish-ə-niz-əm How to pronounce exhibitionism (audio) \

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about exhibitionism


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