noun, often attributive
\ ˈshō-ˌȯf \

Definition of show-off

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of showing off
2 : one that shows off : exhibitionist

show off


Definition of show off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to display proudly wanted to show our new car off

intransitive verb

: to seek to attract attention by conspicuous behavior boys showing off for the girls

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Other Words from show-off


show-offy \ ˈshō-​ˌȯ-​fē \ adjective

Examples of show-off in a Sentence


the athletes warmed up, happily showing off for the crowd before the match officially started she just wants to show off her new jewelry

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At the Sundance Film Festival this morning, Tessa Thompson showed off the latest trend in Solace London’s Tay wide legs. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Tessa Thompson Tests Out the Season’s Trickiest Denim Trend," 30 Jan. 2019 Her close-up selfie showed off a navy blue dress with a scalloped neckline and lace sleeves, perfect for an outdoor wedding. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Demi Lovato Was a Bridesmaid in Her Former Babysitter's Wedding This Weekend," 14 Jan. 2019 The company showed off the 3D object-scanning capabilities of its prototype time-of-flight tech at MWC Shanghai this year. Sam Byford, The Verge, "Vivo’s new Nex has a second display and ‘Lunar Ring’ on the back," 11 Dec. 2018 The brand showed off the costume with a suit jacket and numbered briefcase, likely in reference to Markle's pre-princess days on Suits and Deal or No Deal, which are not included in the $50 price tag. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "There’s Now a Sexy Halloween Costume Inspired by Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding Dress," 15 Oct. 2018 In February, Ferguson showed off her baby bump at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs). Karen Mizoguchi,, "Mission: Impossible – Fallout Actress Rebecca Ferguson Welcomes a Daughter," 10 July 2018 If nothing else, Tuesday showed off an artist with the potential for something deeper to come. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Harry Styles cuts new musical path at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit," 27 June 2018 The final episode of Dale Jr. and Amy Earnhardt’s DIY Network show, Renovation Realities: Dale Jr. & Amy, airs Saturday night and will continue to show off the finished project. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s favorite part of home renovation is the gorgeous backyard," 23 June 2018 The cap sleeves hit my arms at the perfect angle while the v-neck shows off my collar bones nicely and displays just enough cleavage for a date, but also goes unnoticed at the office. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "The Item I Wear to Death: My Mother's '90s Dress From The Limited," 26 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'show-off.' 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 show-off


1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1750, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for show-off

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Time Traveler for show-off

The first known use of show-off was in 1750

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More Definitions for show-off



English Language Learners Definition of show-off

informal + disapproving : a person who tries to impress other people with his or her abilities or possessions


\ ˈshō-ˌȯf\

Kids Definition of show-off

: a person who tries to impress other people with his or her abilities or possessions

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More from Merriam-Webster on show-off

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with show-off

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for show-off

Spanish Central: Translation of show-off

Comments on show-off

What made you want to look up show-off? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


excited commotion or publicity

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