show·​down | \ ˈshō-ˌdau̇n How to pronounce showdown (audio) \

Definition of showdown

1 : the placing of poker hands faceup on the table to determine the winner of a pot
2 : a decisive confrontation or contest

Examples of showdown in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the showdown between annuals and perennials, is one kind better than the other? Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "Annuals vs. Perennials: Everything You Need to Know," 1 Feb. 2019 This match had been the 20-year-old Osaka’s fantasy: a showdown versus her idol on the biggest American stage in tennis. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Naomi Osaka Gets the Last Word," 9 Sep. 2018 The conflict appears headed for a showdown, either in federal court, where the unions have filed numerous lawsuits challenging the orders, or in Congress. Lisa Rein, Anchorage Daily News, "New curbs on federal unions begin to take effect," 9 July 2018 But there’s been no agreement, and the two parties are careening toward a court showdown, with a pretrial conference scheduled for August. Adam Vaccaro,, "How a South Boston real estate fight could delay new MBTA Red Line cars," 2 July 2018 And some, like longstanding smack-talk showdowns between certain veteran players during team drills, never change. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "Vibe at Panthers' spring workouts? It's really different, and there are 2 big reasons," 1 June 2018 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. set up the two showdown votes for Thursday, a day before some 800,000 federal workers are due to miss a second paycheck. Andrew Taylor, The Seattle Times, "Senate sets up showdown votes on shutdown plans," 22 Jan. 2019 This year, the factors that will most likely drive the price of oil are the Trump administration’s showdown with Iran and the strength of the global economy. Russell Gold, WSJ, "Oil Prices in 2019 May Hinge on U.S.-Iran Showdown," 21 Jan. 2019 Such a move would be a dramatic escalation of the current showdown, which has forced a partial government shutdown that’s now in its third week. Jill Colvin, The Seattle Times, "AP Explains: Can Trump declare emergency to build his wall?," 8 Jan. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of showdown

1870, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about showdown

Statistics for showdown

Last Updated

7 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for showdown

The first known use of showdown was in 1870

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for showdown



English Language Learners Definition of showdown

: a meeting, argument, fight, etc., that will finally settle a disagreement between people or groups
: an important game or competition

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on showdown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with showdown

Spanish Central: Translation of showdown

Nglish: Translation of showdown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of showdown for Arabic Speakers

Comments on showdown

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


the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!