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 showstopping (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 Food trends like this Easter dessert board prove food can be a showstopper, too. Bh&g Holiday Editors, Better Homes & Gardens, "6 Stunning Easter Cookie Decorating Ideas You Need to Try This Weekend," 7 Apr. 2020 Still, SummerSlam 1995 was a different story, one that saw Michaels making the move from undercard villain to the showstopper that would dominate future WrestleManias. cleveland, "100 greatest wrestling matches to watch over WrestleMania weekend," 3 Apr. 2020 New Jersey Fort Lee: The centerpiece of the city’s holiday tree lighting has grown from a Charlie Brown tree to a 35-foot showstopper. USA TODAY, "Pothole protest, Ernie Pyle, urine scare: News from around our 50 states," 4 Dec. 2019 This showstopper of a tofu recipe uses a similar caramel sauce as the cod recipe does but relies on blood oranges as the citrus hit — resulting in a sweet-sour, gorgeously burnished effect. Kari Sonde, Washington Post, "Fish sauce is the savory, funky MVP in these 10 recipes," 20 Nov. 2019 In other Vegas developments, Jay Jones reports that big-name stars doing shorter stints means visitors can see more than one showstopper in a weekend. Los Angeles Times, "Vegas Escapes: A Tim Burton twist at the Neon Museum," 22 Aug. 2019 Even among luxury houses, this one is a showstopper. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "$3.25M Bloomfield Twp. home is so big the wine cellar has a wine cellar," 18 Apr. 2020 The 34-year-old, who made her name singing classical showstoppers, shared her baby news in a low-key tweet about missing the Valley Aid 2020 concert, which was held over the weekend to raise money for Welsh flood victims. Toyin Owoseje, CNN, "Singer Charlotte Church pregnant, three years after miscarriage," 16 Mar. 2020 But the real showstopper of Lopez’s sleek look was a pair of Beyond Yoga Drip Drop High-Waisted Leggings ($99, was $110; Braelyn Wood,, "Jennifer Lopez Wore These Beyond Yoga Leggings—and They’re Still Available at Zappos," 16 Dec. 2019

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

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Showstopper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for showstopper


How to pronounce showstopper (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!