Definition of exhibitionism in US English:



  • 1Extravagant behavior that is intended to attract attention to oneself.

    • ‘These parents may be desperate, but by coming into this environment they are abandoning therapy for exhibitionism.’
    • ‘The gym was often almost empty when Christopher was there, and perhaps Pilates knew instinctively that Christopher would be a suitable audience for his exhibitionism.’
    • ‘The roommates - barely legal, scared, nervous and prone to idiotic exhibitionism - are abandoned in foreign cities, with lots of money and practically nothing to do.’
    • ‘His outrageous behaviour, on and off stage, was not only due to drug abuse but also to a need to rebel against the restrictions of his background, mixed in with a fair measure of exhibitionism and a desire to be someone special.’
    • ‘She cocoons the viewer in her extravagant exhibitionism.’
    • ‘There, the rites of passage from one phase of social existence to the next are bound by rules that eliminate exhibitionism, and that includes a strict dress code.’
    • ‘The affectless voyeurism and exhibitionism of reality TV has undoubtedly inspired the movie.’
    • ‘There was, of course, the same mixture of philanthropy, corporate PR and silly exhibitionism we have come to expect from charity bashes akin to Children in Need and Comic Relief.’
    • ‘But all this sound and fury is mainly exhibitionism - politicians pretending they're saving the planet.’
    • ‘His behaviour was legal, if unsavoury, and has, as far as I can tell, absolutely no relevant bearing on his candidacy, unless he's campaigning on a platform of outlawing exhibitionism.’
    • ‘You can keep your distance, you can keep your head beneath the parapet - but surely it's disingenuous to insinuate that bloggers don't do it, at least in part, for adulation, audience or exhibitionism.’
    • ‘More showpiece than serious contest, it is the culmination of three days of gratuitous exhibitionism in which the clean-cut, vibrant face of the NBA is touted at every turn.’
    • ‘Behavioral exhibitionism is perhaps harder to implement than additions to your wardrobe.’
    • ‘I thought at first it was about exhibitionism, but a less cynical view is that they are trying to meet a common human need of finding connection.’
    • ‘Call it solipsism or exhibitionism if you will, but somehow it feels inadequate just sitting here alone with my memories, I want to tell everybody about what this city, these people, this time, meant to me.’
    • ‘With the growing popularity of body art - tattoos, piercings, skin scratching and so on - comes a new level of exhibitionism.’
    • ‘I am talking about the type of exhibitionism, or flaunting of oneself, or showing-off, or whatever else one might choose to call it.’
    • ‘Weblogs seem both the perfect medium for exhibitionism on many levels and also the perfect medium for creating connections.’
    • ‘What is written appears to be out of emotional necessity, with no patience for flashy baroque flourishes or camped-up emotional exhibitionism.’
    • ‘In contrast, the other three value speech as a means to an end - that of self-expression and enlightenment or, at least, exhibitionism.’
    ostentation, showiness, show, showing off, ostentatiousness, pretentiousness, pretension, vulgarity, conspicuousness, obtrusiveness, display, flamboyance, gaudiness, garishness, tawdriness, meretriciousness, brashness, loudness, extravagance, ornateness, theatricality
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    1. 1.1Psychiatry A mental condition characterized by the compulsion to display one's genitals in public.
      • ‘Crane has also been diagnosed as suffering from exhibitionism and anti-social personality disorder.’
      • ‘The sexual activity may include fondling, oral-genital, genital and anal contact, as well as exhibitionism, voyeurism and exposure to pornography.’
      • ‘Crane apparently has a propensity for rape and sexual exhibitionism but does not experience irresistible compulsions or an absolute volitional impairment.’
      • ‘In psychiatry, a male's need for exhibitionism could be seen as a reaction against castration anxiety.’
      • ‘Judith, for instance, has the beginnings of a sexually acting out behavior called exhibitionism.’