[gran-stand, grand-]


the main seating area of a stadium, racetrack, parade route, or the like, usually consisting of tiers with rows of individual seats.
the people sitting in these seats.

verb (used without object), grand·stand·ed, grand·stand·ing.

to conduct oneself or perform showily or ostentatiously in an attempt to impress onlookers: The senator doesn't hesitate to grandstand if it makes her point.


situated in a grandstand: grandstand seats.
having a vantage point resembling that of a grandstand: From our office windows on the third floor, we had a grandstand view of the parade.
intended to impress an onlooker or onlookers: a grandstand catch.

Origin of grandstand

First recorded in 1835–45; grand + stand
Related formsgrand·stand·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for grandstanding

prance, strut, swagger, parade, showboat

Examples from the Web for grandstanding

Contemporary Examples of grandstanding

Historical Examples of grandstanding

  • The sort of grandstanding the Karna were putting on had to be played to an audience.

    In Case of Fire

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • At any time he was ready with a sneer for what he called the cowpuncher's "grandstanding."

    Steve Yeager

    William MacLeod Raine

  • You fellows better cut out the grandstanding and have a look west.

    A Yankee Flier with the R.A.F.

    Rutherford G. Montgomery

  • If he's just doing a lot of grandstanding or if he's playing someone's political game, that's another thing.

    Spring Street

    James H. Richardson

British Dictionary definitions for grandstanding



  1. a terraced block of seats, usually under a roof, commanding the best view at racecourses, football pitches, etc
  2. (as modifier)grandstand tickets
the spectators in a grandstand
(modifier) as if from a grandstand; unimpeded (esp in the phrase grandstand view)


(intr) informal, mainly US and Canadian to behave ostentatiously in an attempt to impress onlookers
Derived Formsgrandstander, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for grandstanding



"main seating for spectators at an outdoor event," 1834, from grand (adj.)+ stand. The verb meaning "to show off" is student slang from 1895, from grandstand player, attested in baseball slang from 1888.

It's little things of this sort which makes the 'grand stand player.' They make impossible catches, and when they get the ball they roll all over the field. [M.J. Kelly, "Play Ball," 1888]

Cf. British gallery hit (1882) "showy play by a batsman in cricket, 'intended to gain applause from uncritical spectators'" [OED]. Related: grandstanding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper