Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb re·veal \ri-ˈvēl\

Definition of reveal

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make known through divine inspiration

  3. 2 :  to make (something secret or hidden) publicly or generally known <reveal a secret>

  4. 3 :  to open up to view :  display <the uncurtained window revealed a cluttered room>

revealable play \-ˈvē-lə-bəl\ adjective
revealer noun

Examples of reveal in a sentence

  1. She would not reveal the secret.

  2. The test revealed the true cause of death.

  3. It was revealed that they stole over $1 million.

  4. They revealed the plans for the new building.

  5. The expression on his face revealed how he felt.

  6. The curtain was lifted to reveal the grand prize.

  7. Pulling up the carpeting revealed the home's beautiful hardwood floors.

Origin of reveal

Middle English revelen, from Anglo-French reveler, from Latin revelare to uncover, reveal, from re- + velare to cover, veil, from velum veil

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of reveal

reveal, disclose, divulge, tell, betray mean to make known what has been or should be concealed. reveal may apply to supernatural or inspired revelation of truths beyond the range of ordinary human vision or reason <divine will as revealed in sacred writings>. disclose may imply a discovering but more often an imparting of information previously kept secret <candidates must disclose their financial assets>. divulge implies a disclosure involving some impropriety or breach of confidence <refused to divulge an anonymous source>. tell implies an imparting of necessary or useful information <told them what he had overheard>. betray implies a divulging that represents a breach of faith or an involuntary or unconscious disclosure <a blush that betrayed her embarrassment>.



noun re·veal

Definition of reveal

  1. :  the side of an opening (as for a window) between a frame and the outer surface of a wall; also :  jamb

Origin of reveal

alteration of earlier revale, probably ultimately from Middle French ravaler to reduce the depth of (masonry or wood), literally, to take back down, from Old French, from re- + avaler to let fall — more at vail

First Known Use: 1688

REVEAL Defined for Kids


verb re·veal \ri-ˈvēl\

Definition of reveal for Students


  1. 1 :  to make known <“Secrecy about what?” “That I cannot reveal.” — Robert C. O'Brien, Rats of NIMH>

  2. 2 :  to show clearly <The opened door revealed a messy room.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up reveal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


expressing little or no emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.