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 Residents often open their front doors in the morning to discover that their showy neighbors had left them unwelcome presents on their welcome mats. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2023 Check out Matt Pawlik’s guide on where to catch the best of this year’s showy showers. Dakota Kim, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2023 Compared with its showy predecessor, One Madison Avenue is an introvert. Audrey Wachs, Curbed, 9 Aug. 2023 The ones in my garden now glow the most glorious golden yellow and are every bit as showy as the red. Steve Bender, Southern Living, 22 Aug. 2023 The changes are significant, but not in a showy way. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 19 Aug. 2023 Just a pinch more to dance on your cutaneous buds without getting showy, silly or aggressive with it. Haley Laurence |, al, 3 Aug. 2023 These small understory trees are known to produce dazzling blooms in spring and summer, along with showy foliage in the fall. Grace Haynes, Southern Living, 31 July 2023 These larger flowers require more energy from the plants, but are very showy throughout their blooming period. Derek Carwood, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 July 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 21 Sep. 2023.

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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