[shoh-room, -roo m]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to come into a store to view merchandise and then purchase it from a competitor, usually online, as to get a lower price or wider selection: For shoes, I usually showroom at a couple of stores, then buy them cheaper online.
  2. to be used as a place to view rather than buy merchandise: No store wants to showroom for a website.
verb (used with object)
  1. to display (merchandise) in a showroom.
  2. to enter a store and view (merchandise) before purchasing it from a competitor, usually online.
  3. to use or encourage people to use (a store) as a place to view rather than buy merchandise: The online retailers are showrooming us out of business. We’re being showroomed by consumers who browse our stores without buying.

Origin of showroom

First recorded in 1610–20; show + room
Related formsshow·room·ing, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for showroom


  1. a room in which goods, such as cars, are on display
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 showroom

"room for displaying furniture for sale," 1610s, from show (v.) + room (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper