Pronunciation Verb

show (shows, present participle showing; past showed, past participle shown)

  1. (transitive) To display, to have somebody see (something).
    The car's dull finish showed years of neglect.
    All he had to show for four years of attendance at college was a framed piece of paper.
  2. (transitive) To bestow; to confer.
    to show mercy; to show favour; (dialectal) show me the salt please
  3. (transitive) To indicate (a fact) to be true; to demonstrate.
  4. (transitive) To guide or escort.
    Could you please show him on his way. He has overstayed his welcome.
    They showed us in.
  5. (intransitive) To be visible; to be seen; to appear.
    Your bald patch is starting to show.
    At length, his gloom showed.
    • Just such she shows before a rising storm.
    • ?, Alfred Tennyson, The Day-Dream
      All round a hedge upshoots, and shows / At distance like a little wood.
  6. (intransitive, informal) To put in an appearance; show up.
    We waited for an hour, but they never showed.
  7. (intransitive, informal) To have an enlarged belly and thus be recognizable as pregnant.
  8. (intransitive, racing) To finish third, especially of horses or dogs.
    In the third race: Aces Up won, paying eight dollars; Blarney Stone placed, paying three dollars; and Cinnamon showed, paying five dollars.
  9. (obsolete) To have a certain appearance, such as well or ill, fit or unfit; to become or suit; to appear.
    • c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene i]:
      My lord of York, it better showed with you.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: se voir
  • Russian: пока́зываться


  1. (countable) A play, dance, or other entertainment.
  2. (countable) An exhibition of items.
    art show;  dog show
  3. (countable) A demonstration.
    show of force
  4. (countable) A broadcast program/programme.
    radio show;  television show
    • 2016, [ VOA Learning English] (public domain)
      Every day I do my morning show.
  5. (countable) A movie.
    Let's catch a show.
  6. A project or presentation.
    Let's get on with the show.   Let's get this show on the road.   They went on an international road show to sell the shares to investors.   It was Apple's usual dog and pony show.
  7. (uncountable) Mere display or pomp with no substance. (Usually seen in the phrases "all show" and "for show".)
    • I envy none their pageantry and show.
    The dog sounds ferocious but it's all show.
  8. Outward appearance; wileful or deceptive appearance.
    • 1596-97, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act III Scene 2
      So may the outward shows be least themselves:
      The world is still deceived with ornament.
  9. (baseball, with "the") The major leagues.
    He played AA ball for years, but never made it to the show.
  10. (mining, obsolete) A pale blue flame at the top of a candle flame, indicating the presence of firedamp.
  11. (archaic) Pretence.
  12. (archaic) Sign, token, or indication.
  13. (obsolete) Semblance; likeness; appearance.
    • Bible, Luke xx. 46. 47
      Beware of the scribes, […] which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 9”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      He through the midst unmarked, / In show plebeian angel militant / Of lowest order, passed.
  14. (obsolete) Plausibility.
  15. (medicine) A discharge, from the vagina, of mucus streaked with blood, occurring a short time before labor.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations

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