show·​stop·​per | \ ˈshō-ˌstä-pər How to pronounce showstopper (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from showstopper

showstopping \ ˈshō-​ˌstä-​piŋ How to pronounce showstopper (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for showstopper



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of showstopper in a Sentence

at the modeling agency everyone was a showstopper
Recent Examples on the Web That is not a showstopper given that Johnson & Johnson so far has represented only about 5% of vaccinations. Author: Joel Achenbach, Jacqueline Dupree, Anchorage Daily News, "Spring wave of coronavirus crashes across 38 states as hospitalizations increase," 16 Apr. 2021 Producer Nashiem Myrick’s beat (with those keys) is a showstopper. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "200 greatest hip-hop songs of all time," 13 Apr. 2021 In northwest Marin, the Douglas iris blooms can be a showstopper, and the best bets are around Limantour Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay State Park. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Wildflowers are starting to bloom. Here's where to see them in the Bay Area and California," 1 Apr. 2021 His Showstopper performance isn't exactly a showstopper, but the warmth and raspiness in his voice that everyone loves are still there. Maggie Fremont,, "American Idol recap: Showstoppers battle for a spot in Top 24," 29 Mar. 2021 Or follow Carrie Bradshaw’s lead and dawn a feathery headpiece with your wedding dress—Emilio Pucci just released a sweet quill headband that’s guaranteed to be a showstopper. Alexis Bennett, Vogue, "15 Something Blue Ideas for a Picture-Perfect Wedding Day," 29 Mar. 2021 The available dash-spanning Hyperscreen infotainment display is a showstopper. Nelson Ireson, Car and Driver, "2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS Interior Aims for New Heights of Tech, Luxury," 27 Mar. 2021 American Idol Twitter firmly believes judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan made a grave error during Sunday night's showstopper episode. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'American Idol' Fans Have "Never Been So Upset" After Judges Make a "Huge" Top 24 Mistake," 29 Mar. 2021 And making the stuff from scratch is like trying to win a GBBO showstopper. Adam Rogers, Wired, "Physicists Learn to Superfreeze Antimatter (Hint: Pew Pew!)," 31 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of showstopper

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about showstopper

Time Traveler for showstopper

Time Traveler

The first known use of showstopper was in 1916

See more words from the same year

Statistics for showstopper

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Showstopper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for showstopper



English Language Learners Definition of showstopper

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

More from Merriam-Webster on showstopper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for showstopper

Comments on showstopper

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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