a tendency to display one's abilities or to behave in such a way as to attract attention.
Psychiatry. a disorder characterized especially by a compulsion to exhibit the genitals in public.

1890–95; exhibition + -ism

nonexhibitionism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To exhibitionism
World English Dictionary
exhibitionism (ˌɛksɪˈbɪʃəˌnɪzəm)
1.  a compulsive desire to attract attention to oneself, esp by absurd or exaggerated behaviour or boasting
2.  psychiatry a compulsive desire to expose one's genital organs publicly
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

exhibitionism ex·hi·bi·tion·ism (ěk'sə-bĭsh'ə-nĭz'əm)
An abnormal compulsion to expose the genitals with the intent of provoking sexual interest in the viewer.

ex'hi·bi'tion·ist n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


derivation of sexual gratification through compulsive display of one's genitals. Like voyeurism (q.v.), sexual display is almost universal as a prelude to sexual activity in animals, including humans; it is regarded as deviant behaviour when it takes place outside the context of intimate sexual relations. Exhibitionists are usually not dangerous, although the experience is frequently perceived by the victim as threatening; violence or sexual assault seldom follows the display

Learn more about exhibitionism with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature