\ ˈshō-ē How to pronounce showy (audio) \
showier; showiest

Definition of showy

1 : making an attractive show : striking a showy orchid
2 : given to or marked by a flashy often tasteless display

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Other Words from showy

showily \ ˈshō-​ə-​lē How to pronounce showily (audio) \ adverb
showiness \ ˈshō-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce showiness (audio) \ 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

While the setting is modest, the plates are filled with pyrotechnics, showy but thoughtful multi-component affairs that nimbly merge disparate flavors and techniques to compelling effect. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The best restaurants in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley," 1 July 2019 From left, a flash of feline pattern from Saint Laurent; shimmering leather trousers at Givenchy; lustrous blazers at Versace and 1017 Alyx 9SM; a showy pop of snakeskin print from Celine. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "The Men’s Trends You Might Actually Want to Wear in 2020," 28 June 2019 Laing, who has achieved as close to zero percent body fat as a human being can get, makes Felicia sassy, showy and risk-taking, as well as bitchy in interactions with Bernadette. Christine Dolen,, "Review: Slow Burn’s ‘Priscilla’ joyous and heart-tugging," 17 June 2019 Second, camellias have been bred and selected for centuries to produce large, showy flowers. Dan Gill,, "This is what causes color variations in Japanese magnolias," 24 Mar. 2019 Courtship and breeding To catch the attention of a female, a male bearded dragon embarks on a showy ritual of courtship, pounding his feet into the ground and waving his arms and bobbing his head. Susan Schabacker, National Geographic, "Bearded dragons," 22 June 2019 Starting this summer, a Renée-ssance is in the works, with a pair of new projects starring Zellweger in two of her showiest roles yet. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "Renée Zellweger: "Celebrity Is a Different Job Than What I’m Interested In"," 24 May 2019 Was this building to be a showy piece of architectural ambition, a gorgeous sculpture wrapped around a very big box? Julie Lasky, ELLE Decor, "ED First Look: The National Museum of Qatar," 26 Mar. 2019 Interviews with more than a dozen people who knew him in college and Yale Law School draw a portrait of a serious, but not showy student and sports lover whose drive and competitiveness helped him both on the court and in the classroom. Alanna Durkin Richer, The Seattle Times, "At Yale, Kavanaugh stayed out of debates at a time of many," 28 Aug. 2018

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

1697, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for showy

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for showy

The first known use of showy was in 1697

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More Definitions for showy



English Language Learners Definition of showy

: having an appearance that attracts attention


\ ˈshō-ē How to pronounce showy (audio) \
showier; showiest

Kids Definition of showy

1 : attracting attention : striking showy flower blossoms
2 : given to or being too much outward display : gaudy showy jewelry

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More from Merriam-Webster on showy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with showy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for showy

Spanish Central: Translation of showy

Nglish: Translation of showy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on showy

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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