Definition of showstopper in US English:



  • 1A performance or item receiving prolonged applause from the audience.

    ‘he wants every scene to be a showstopper’
    • ‘Old double-winged aircraft and Spitfires practice their showstoppers over our valley before annual air shows.’
    • ‘Handelian arias were either brilliant vocal displays or sustained sublime showstoppers.’
    • ‘So when a country with no tradition of musicals found itself needing chorus lines and showstoppers, Lambe was one of a new breed of stage performers capable of answering its call.’
    • ‘All the talent in them went into the songs and the dialogue was left to stretch unnaturally between show-stoppers.’
    • ‘It's a classic showstopper: dramatic, lavishly orchestrated, and catastrophically over-the-top.’
    • ‘The stage is then invaded by more children and the resulting musical number is a showstopper.’
    • ‘The real showstopper is Nathan Lane's ‘There's No Business Like Show Business.’’
    • ‘Then there is the shy, self-effacing Chris, who electrifyingly takes over the stage, and, to my mind, sparks the whole proceedings with the showstopper, Old Fashioned Romance.’
    • ‘That was a great, showstopper performance.’
    • ‘It's a show-stopper, in the vein of Rimsky-Korsakov's Schéhérazade - lots of exciting climaxes and slightly sweet melancholy.’
    • ‘Maybe thin, shaky male voices will come into style, but I was hoping more for a real show-stopper that never came.’
    • ‘So Moulin Rouge's premise seems enticing at first, a musical that lives through popular rock songs, just as the musicals of their time were often written around show-stoppers already making the nightclub rounds.’
    • ‘He easily holds his own with Kelly in their numbers together, and his ‘Make 'Em Laugh’ is a showstopper.’
    • ‘‘And The Hero Will Drown,’ ‘Burning Years’ and of course, ‘Anthem Of Our Dying Day’ are showstoppers.’
    • ‘Aside from the searing guitar riffs and angry-youth lyrics, there was not a particularly special moment or showstopper, as it were.’
    • ‘In the main arena, bare-back riding daredevil Lorenzo, the Flying Frenchman, proved to be a showstopper as he performed equestrian stunts with his grey geldings.’
    • ‘But the showstopper is the aptly named globe of death, which sees men riding motorbikes inside a dome-like structure.’
    • ‘A high spot was definitely a young cellist, Stefan Handjiev, in National Radio's Christmas Concert - an absolute show-stopper.’
    great success, sell-out, triumph, star attraction, talking point
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    1. 1.1 Something that is striking or has great popular appeal.
      ‘a showstopper of a smile’
      • ‘Formal evening gowns are elegant and can be showstoppers.’
      • ‘Their recurved petals, lovely long stamens and distinctive center markings make Oriental lilies showstoppers in any floral arrangement.’
      • ‘Blue-flowered ‘Ascotiensis’ is another showstopper, while pristine white ‘John Huxtable’ looks especially striking grown through an evergreen.’
      • ‘The redevelopment will comprise 32 apartments, ranging in price from £250,000 to the £1.25m showstopper.’
      • ‘You don't need to be an expert in the kitchen to make his recipes, but you *do * need to be willing to spend real time and effort on a dish - these are show-stoppers, not simple fare.’
      • ‘For sheer showstopper appeal, check out its exclusive hat collection by milliner to the stars Philip Treacy in the Autograph boutique, with prices from £125.’
      • ‘Following are simple professional tips from the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center in New York City on how to turn any lily flower arrangement into a showstopper.’
      • ‘The onion soup is another showstopper, rich and sweet from caramelized onions.’
      • ‘The statue has become a showstopper for hordes of shoppers.’
      • ‘There were a number of small bugs which weren't show stoppers but concerned us nonetheless.’
      • ‘This final dress is a real show-stopper: a full-length black number with a huge train and a thick gold and red trim on the hem.’
      • ‘Over the years I had seen plants that were showstoppers; plants that made you examine them thoroughly; plants that made you find a book and read everything you could about them.’
      • ‘I am resplendent in scarlet tonight, a showstopper.’
      • ‘In the winter though - when its structure and the almost knurled twisting of its branches are more evident - the bur oak is a showstopper.’
      • ‘The cake was the real showstopper: two-tiered and dense with chocolate mousse and ganache.’
      • ‘Kartano dresses old Finnish staple dishes in haute cuisine trimmings and their pan-fried fillet of reindeer is a showstopper.’
      • ‘Sheldon is a recognized birding site. Various species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles are common, and not the least of the show-stoppers is the American alligator.’
      • ‘One of Nissan's show stoppers this year is the Fusion, a prototype design of a future four-door saloon.’
  • 2An obstacle to further progress.

    ‘the subsidy limits proved to be a showstopper for other senior Democrats who refused to pass the bill with such restrictions’
    • ‘The challenges that remain are considered engineering tasks, not showstoppers.’
    • ‘None of these cultural differences is in and of itself a showstopper.’
    • ‘I'll mention just two potential show-stoppers presently in the planning stages.’
    • ‘If, despite a low or nonexistent overhead, decent profits still manage to elude a microbusiness, that's not necessarily a showstopper.’
    • ‘At the end of the day, if the crew can't get along and the crew can't function together, it's a show stopper.’
    • ‘The weather wasn't perfect, but I quickly was learning that what had been a showstopper in the RAG was daily business in the fleet.’
    • ‘A high oil price is obviously a show stopper, since it hits consumer spending.’
    • ‘I ran into a number of difficulties, but none of them were showstoppers.’
    • ‘The last definition is the showstopper for unions.’
    • ‘Aguilar also found differences between the way the two countries conduct business, but no showstoppers.’
    • ‘The conclusion of the review is that there are no potential "showstoppers" at this stage of the development plan.’
    • ‘But I do know that what I consider only niggling annoyances can become show-stoppers for newbies.’
    • ‘There'll be wearing on parts of machinery, combat equipment and helicopters, but it will not be a showstopper.’
    • ‘At first, cost seemed a showstopper.’
    • ‘We have now however heard from several other users who assure us this works on their handsets, so it seems not to be a universal showstopper.’
    • ‘Unless we come up with a new technology for storing hydrogen, it's a showstopper.’
    • ‘According to Pawelczyk, associate professor of kinesiology at Penn State, there are three major "showstoppers" that need to be addressed.’
    • ‘The same new research will help determine whether the second problem is a show-stopper or not.’
    1. 2.1Computing A bug that needs to be fixed before a piece of software can be used or released.
      ‘there were several last minute showstoppers that derailed the Beta 2 rollout’
      • ‘The initial excitement quickly turned to sensational headlines about a "showstopper" or critical bug that may put a damper on the Windows 7 excitement.’
      • ‘There aren't any showstoppers but there are lots of minor UI irritations.’
      • ‘The bad news is there's a bug, described as a showstopper.’
      • ‘Testers have been told to expect several more release candidates over the next few weeks, but Microsoft is only looking for show stopper bugs and regressions from previous Windows releases.’
      • ‘There were a number of small bugs which weren't show stoppers but concerned us nonetheless.’
      • ‘When the beta testers can't find any more showstoppers or the developers can no longer face fixing them or the marketing team has booked loads of advertising, the developers create "release candidates".’