See more synonyms for showboat on Thesaurus.com noun Also show·boat·er (for defs 2, 3).
- a boat, especially a paddle-wheel steamer, used as a traveling theater.
- Informal. show-off(def 1).
- a person, especially an athlete, who performs in an ostentatiously sensational manner calculated to draw attention; show-off.
verb (used without object)
- to perform or behave in an outrageous or spectacular manner.
Origin of showboat
An Americanism dating back to 1865–70; show
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for showboater
- a paddle-wheel river steamer with a theatre and a repertory company
- (intr) to perform or behave in a showy and flamboyant way
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 showboater
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper