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showboat

[shoh-boht]
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noun Also show·boat·er (for defs 2, 3).
  1. a boat, especially a paddle-wheel steamer, used as a traveling theater.
  2. Informal. show-off(def 1).
  3. a person, especially an athlete, who performs in an ostentatiously sensational manner calculated to draw attention; show-off.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to perform or behave in an outrageous or spectacular manner.
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Origin of showboat

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70; show + boat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for showboat

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And here, in the spring of the year, the calliope could be heard far down the Ohio as the showboat steamed into view.


British Dictionary definitions for showboat

showboat

noun
  1. a paddle-wheel river steamer with a theatre and a repertory company
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verb
  1. (intr) to perform or behave in a showy and flamboyant way
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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 showboat

n.

also show-boat, 1838, "river boat on which theatrical performances are given," from show (n.) + boat (n.). The verb meaning "to show off" is attested from 1951.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper