showier; showiest
: making an attractive show : striking
a showy orchid
: given to or marked by a flashy often tasteless display
showily adverb
showiness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for showy

showy, pretentious, ostentatious mean given to excessive outward display.

showy implies an imposing or striking appearance but usually suggests cheapness or poor taste.

the performers' showy costumes

pretentious implies an appearance of importance not justified by the thing's value or the person's standing.

a pretentious parade of hard words

ostentatious stresses vainglorious display or parade.

the ostentatious summer homes of the rich

Examples of showy in a Sentence

Perhaps you should wear something a little less showy. orchid plants are known for their huge showy flowers
Recent Examples on the Web Many hybrids exist today in a wide range of showy colors. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 14 Feb. 2024 Its former incarnation, Byblos in Mijas, was a ’90s icon with a celebrity following that included Princess Diana and Julio Iglesias, but La Zambra, which opened last summer, is less showy. Lisa Johnson, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Nov. 2023 Growing marigold plants provides showy garden color as well as an easily identifiable fragrance, one that is known to repel mosquitos. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 26 June 2023 Beneath the aggressively showy camerawork (courtesy of Bill Kirstein) and the confetti-explosion musical numbers (choreographed by Kyle Hanagami), the story’s bare bones remain mostly intact. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan. 2024 But while Art Deco is usually quite showy, this apartment channels the design movement’s essence with its shapes and sentiments, without the over-the-top ornamentation it’s also known for. Kim Velsey, Curbed, 28 Dec. 2023 For Beginners: Dutch Braid Think of this braid as a showier version of the French braid. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 5 Jan. 2024 Spacek has the showier role as the seething, vengeful Ruth, a lobster fisherman’s Lady Macbeth. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 31 Dec. 2023 People were looking for things that hugged them, Not a showy thing, but wearing something that hugged you, that gave you a style, a confidence. Mark Holgate, Vogue, 13 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'showy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1697, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of showy was in 1697

Dictionary Entries Near showy

Cite this Entry

“Showy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


showier; showiest
: attracting attention : striking
showy blossoms
: given to or marked by much outward display : gaudy
showy jewelry
showily adverb
showiness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on showy

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