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

Verb 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 Many attendees documented the fun on social media, including McPhee, 35, who showed off the music-hall venue in her Instagram Story. Hanna Flanagan,, "Erin Foster Marries Simon Tikhman on New Year's Eve with Dad David Foster Walking Her Down the Aisle," 1 Jan. 2020 Banning plastic straws is not really much of a way to show off one’s ability to mold the course of human history. Taylor Dinerman, National Review, "The End of the Soft-Power Delusion," 31 Dec. 2019 The company showed off the compact ID.3 at the Frankfurt auto show in September and will start delivering it to customers next summer. David Mchugh, USA TODAY, "Volkswagen accelerates electric cars forecast, predicts it will produce 1 million per year by 2023," 28 Dec. 2019 Ours is editor Jess Boddy, who showed off her skills while discussing science fiction predictions that came true. Jason Lederman, Popular Science, "Ten GIFs that really got us through 2019," 28 Dec. 2019 Wearing an ugly Christmas sweater isn’t the only way to show off your holiday spirit. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "15 Makeup Looks That Will Get You In The Holiday Spirit," 23 Dec. 2019 While giving safety tips for their new bicycles, mountain bike champion Jeff Lenosky takes time to show off some tricks and inspire the first-graders at Field Elementary on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "Houston first graders awed by bike tricks and brand-new bikes," 18 Dec. 2019 Alex Thomas-Smith, one of the performers in the production, showed off their very own Angelina Jolie tattoo to the actress, who responded enthusiastically. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie Meets the West End Performer Who Has a Tattoo of Her Face," 10 Dec. 2019 That’s intended to catch a wave designed to show off the city’s emerging creativity. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Free museums, discount theater and Night Lights: Our picks from Denver Arts Week 2019," 1 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for show-off

Time Traveler

The first known use of show-off was in 1750

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Statistics for show-off

Cite this Entry

“Show-off.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for show-off


How to pronounce show off (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for show-off

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


a feeling of well-being or elation

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