show·stop·per | \ˈshō-ˌstä-pər \

Definition of showstopper 

1 : an act, song, or performer that wins applause so prolonged as to interrupt a performance

2 : something or someone exceptionally arresting or attractive the gold crown was the showstopper of the exhibition

3 : one that stops or could stop the progress, operation, or functioning of something

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Other Words from showstopper

showstopping \ˈshō-ˌstä-piŋ \ adjective

Examples of showstopper in a Sentence

at the modeling agency everyone was a showstopper

Recent Examples on the Web

But the houses are the real showstoppers at Essex Glen, where every feature, from the floors to the cabinetry, is bright and new. Mary Murphy,, "Property of the Week: Essex Glen," 6 June 2018 Yet in his triple-A debut season, Meneses is having nothing short of a showstopper campaign for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Ben Pope,, "Phillies prospect Joey Meneses looks MLB-ready, whether here or elsewhere," 9 July 2018 The event was filled with a flock of high-profile celebrities, including showgoer and showstopper, Rihanna. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The 12 Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Rihanna Hops on the Clear Bag Trend, Lil Miquela Wears a Suit, and More," 23 June 2018 Sheela, now 68 and living in Switzerland, is the showstopper of the documentary and seems to have no regrets about her actions at Rajneeshpuram. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "The Wild Wild Country Team Knows They Left Out Part of the Story. But They Did it on Purpose," 13 Apr. 2018 Also in my desk drawer are Christian Louboutin metallic wedges, which are my showstopper shoes, plus Halogen gladiator sandals — my summer staple. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "The Design Director Launching Brands for Sizes 14 and Up," 12 June 2018 Hopefully there will be another monographic show to come, somewhere, for showstopper Shinique Smith. Lori Waxman,, "Abstraction, explained," 31 May 2018 The homemade banana pudding, with flecks of real vanilla beans, served in a Mason jar is a showstopper. Michelle Newman, San Antonio Express-News, "New Braunfels: Your guide to shopping, dining and hotels," 11 June 2018 The truffles and caramels shine, but the showstopper is the scrap cookie, a mystery sugar cookie mixed with leftovers from the day’s confection-making., "Detours worth taking on your next road trip," 20 May 2018

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

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2018

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The first known use of showstopper was in 1916

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English Language Learners Definition of showstopper

: an act, song, or performer that receives so much applause that the performance is interrupted

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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