See more synonyms for showdown on
  1. the laying down of one's cards, face upward, in a card game, especially poker.
  2. a conclusive settlement of an issue, difference, etc., in which all resources, power, or the like, are used; decisive confrontation: An international showdown was inevitable.

Origin of showdown

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; show + down1

Synonyms for showdown

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for showdown

crisis, clash, culmination, climax

Examples from the Web for showdown

Contemporary Examples of showdown

Historical Examples of showdown

  • "They'd better have given the plan a showdown," interrupted Steve grimly.

  • If it comes to a showdown, we're goin' to tell what we know.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • Say, Tex, honest Injun, would you 'a' fired off that dynamite if it had come to a showdown?

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • Hope if it ever comes to a showdown the secretary of the bureau of commerce will agree with me.

  • He shucked his windbreaker because it would be more encumbrance than help in the showdown.

British Dictionary definitions for showdown


  1. informal an action that brings matters to a head or acts as a conclusion or point of decision
  2. poker the exposing of the cards in the players' hands on the table at the end of the game
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 showdown

also show-down, 1873 in card-playing (especially poker), from show (v.) + down (adv.). Figurative sense of "final confrontation" is from 1904.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper