make an exhibition of oneself

Idioms & Phrases

make an exhibition of oneself

Show off or otherwise embarrass oneself in public, as in When Mike has too much to drink he's apt to make an exhibition of himself. The first recorded use of this term was in Charles Dickens's A Child's History of England (1853).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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