noun, often attributive
\ ˈshō-ˌȯf How to pronounce show-off (audio) \

Definition of show-off

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

show off

showed off; shown off or showed off; showing off; shows 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 How to pronounce show-offy (audio) \ 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

Telescopes will show off the planet’s four largest moons and colorful bands that cross its atmosphere. Arnold Pearlstein,, "The Stars this Week: June 9-15," 9 June 2019 Haynes wore a gray jumpsuit with rips in the legs that showed off scars where cancer had caused the 48-year-old Reisterstown woman to have her femur removed and her knee reconstructed from her calf muscle and a tendon from a cadaver. Colin Campbell,, "'I am a miracle': Cancer survivors take the runway at annual Hopkins fashion show," 9 June 2019 Applying a different color to each finger is a subtle way to show off the rainbow. Allure, "15 Nail Art Ideas to Wear During Pride — and They’re Not Just Rainbows," 6 June 2019 Throw pillows are a great way to show off your personality in a room. Ap Mcclatchy, The Mercury News, "Are you a pillow lover or minimalist?," 6 June 2019 Here’s a handy compilation of everything from reptiles to bunnies to Spider-Man actor Tom Holland photos that shows off the range of Lizzo’s lyrics — and the range of taste and choreography that can be applied to the tune. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Lizzo's 'Boys' Is Extremely Versatile Meme Material That Works Like a Charm Every Time," 6 June 2019 These beautiful young women first chose outfits that showed off their personalities and hobbies, including sports and pep uniforms as well as fashions that showcased band and choir interests. Jane Napier Neely,, "The Valley Line: Debutante fashion show takes to the runway with pink theme," 3 June 2019 Tim shared photos from his adventures that show off his impressive catches as well as his physique. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Tim McGraw Just Showed Off His Abs in a Shirtless Beach Photo," 28 May 2019 And a blush version of the Yeezy 500, which West showed off during the NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles this February, was at first only available via online raffle on select websites. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Why Yeezys, a brand based on exclusivity, are suddenly so easy to buy," 21 Sep. 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).


showing great care, attention, and effort

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