\ˈshō \
showed\ˈshōd \; shown\ˈshōn \ or showed; showing

Definition of show 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause or permit to be seen : exhibit showed pictures of the baby

2 : to offer for sale stores were showing new spring suits

3 : to present as a public spectacle : perform

4 : to reveal by one's condition, nature, or behavior showed themselves to be cowards

5 : to give indication or record of an anemometer shows wind speed

6a : to point out : direct attention to showed the view from the terrace

b : conduct, usher showed me to an aisle seat

7 : accord, bestow shows them no mercy

8a : to set forth : declare

b : allege, plead used especially in law show cause

9a : to demonstrate or establish by argument or reasoning show a plan to be faulty

b : inform, instruct showed me how to solve the problem

10 : to present (an animal) for judging in a show

intransitive verb

1a : to be or come in view 3:15 showed on the clock

b : to put in an appearance failed to show

2a : to appear in a particular way anger showed in their faces

b : seem, appear

3a : to give a theatrical performance

b : to be staged or presented

4a : to appear as a contestant

b : to present an animal in a show

5 : to finish third or at least third (as in a horse race)

6 : to exhibit one's artistic work

show one's hand or less commonly show one's cards

1 : to display one's cards faceup

2 : to declare one's intentions or reveal one's resources

show one the door

: to tell someone to get out also : fire sense 2b


noun, often attributive

Definition of show (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a demonstrative display a show of strength

2a archaic : outward appearance

b : a false semblance : pretense made a show of friendship

c : a more or less true appearance of something : sign

d : an impressive display his role as househusband … was purely for show— John Lahr

e : ostentation

3 : chance sense 2 gave him a show in spite of his background

4 : something exhibited especially for wonder or ridicule : spectacle

5a : a large display or exhibition arranged to arouse interest or stimulate sales the national auto show

b : a competitive exhibition of animals (such as dogs) to demonstrate quality in breeding

6a : a theatrical presentation

b : a radio or television program

c : entertainment sense 3b(1)

7 : enterprise, affair they ran the whole show

8 : third place at the finish (as of a horse race)

9 often capitalized : the major leagues in baseball used with the

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Other Words from show


showable \ˈshō-ə-bəl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for show


show, exhibit, display, expose, parade, flaunt mean to present so as to invite notice or attention. show implies no more than enabling another to see or examine. showed her snapshots to the whole group exhibit stresses putting forward prominently or openly. exhibit paintings at a gallery display emphasizes putting in a position where others may see to advantage. display sale items expose suggests bringing forth from concealment and displaying. sought to expose the hypocrisy of the town fathers parade implies an ostentatious or arrogant displaying. parading their piety for all to see flaunt suggests a shameless, boastful, often offensive parading. nouveaux riches flaunting their wealth

show, manifest, evidence, evince, demonstrate mean to reveal outwardly or make apparent. show is the general term but sometimes implies that what is revealed must be gained by inference from acts, looks, or words. careful not to show his true feelings manifest implies a plainer, more immediate revelation. manifested musical ability at an early age evidence suggests serving as proof of the actuality or existence of something. a commitment evidenced by years of loyal service evince implies a showing by outward marks or signs. evinced not the slightest fear demonstrate implies showing by action or by display of feeling. demonstrated their approval by loud applause


show, exhibit, and parade mean to present something so that it will attract attention. show is used of letting another see or examine. Show me a picture of your family. exhibit is used of putting something out for public viewing. The children exhibited their drawings at the fair. parade is used of making a great show of something. Look at them parading their new bikes.

Examples of show in a Sentence


You have to show your tickets at the gate. You're the only person that I've shown this letter to. They showed the theory to be faulty. You will have to show me how to play the game. He showed them a card trick. Definitions tell you the meanings of words; examples show you how the words are used.


She was the star of the show. The band always puts on a good show. a show of his early paintings
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And public records show a majority of their runs are for security or property checks, giving troopers on the islands duties more aligned with those of a private security force. Todd Wallack,, "For some State Police, it’s a posting in paradise," 14 July 2018 And in the ninth inning, that process showed some progress. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Tigers' growing pains aren't easy but Gardenhire is proud of fight," 14 July 2018 And a video taken in a Chicago park shows a man harassing a woman for wearing a shirt with a Puerto Rican flag on it. CBS News, "Black teen speaks out after woman is charged with attacking him at pool," 14 July 2018 The policy tweaks are part of a shift away from that initiative in order to shore up growth, which has shown signs of flagging, and to fend off the impact of the tariffs the U.S. and Chinese governments are slapping on each other’s products. WSJ, "Cash Flows: Beijing Opens the Taps With Rail Projects and More Lending," 13 July 2018 And when the Trumps did arrive, pictures show Queen Elizabeth II greeting them with a big smile. Emily Wang, Teen Vogue, "President Donald Trump Was Reportedly Late to Meet With Queen Elizabeth II," 13 July 2018 To make this system work, judges need to show deference to the regulatory agencies and acknowledge that the congressional reformers who created them wanted the agencies to have some flexibility and discretion. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh and the new judicial activism," 12 July 2018 Tveidt’s parents showed him the newspaper clippings from Anchorage about his abandonment. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "His mother left him in a box. 31 years later, this Boisean has reunited with his father.," 12 July 2018 Democrats showed little sign of heeding that advice Tuesday. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Christian Science Monitor, "Democrats raise questions about Kavanaugh's views on executive power," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And its popularity in Milwaukee hasn’t waned — the band sold out its Friday show at the Rave’s 3,500-person-capacity Eagles Ballroom several weeks in advance. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Incubus crushes sweltering, sold-out show at Milwaukee's Eagles Ballroom," 14 July 2018 She is not known to show anger in public, and the only times most people have seen her show unbridled glee is when one of her racehorses performs extremely well in a competition., "Royal etiquette for the Trumps’ visit: Don’t kiss the queen," 13 July 2018 Before leaving Burberry, former chief creative officer Christopher Bailey reimagined Burberry’s signature tartan check for his final show in January, which was dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth, by adding a rainbow overlay. Aubri Juhasz, The Cut, "Burberry’s Latest Collab Is Full of Cool Kids in Rainbow Check," 13 July 2018 The event will round out with its signature cosplay fashion show — where attendees dressed as their favorite (G-rated) comic, anime or action hero character, can walk the runway. Emily Bloch,, "Teen comic convention returns in Davie," 13 July 2018 But why were undercover officers at her show to begin with??? Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Was there something fishy about Stormy Daniels’s arrest?," 12 July 2018 Here are some of the most popular ways to watch your favorite shows after cutting the cord. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "With 112 Emmy Nominations, Netflix Officially Rules Television," 12 July 2018 The event was originally slated for the Abbey Pub, but when a mid-November fire forced the venue to close up and cancel all of its shows, rapper Saba moved the event to the much smaller club. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Chicago rap phenom Phoelix does it all on his own with his latest self-released record, Tempo," 12 July 2018 New Lenox initially planned to stage its show July 6, but a second bout of heavy rain July 5 caused the fireworks to be water-damaged. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "New Lenox reschedules fireworks," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'show.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of show


12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for show


Middle English shewen, showen, from Old English scēawian to look, look at, see; akin to Old High German scouwōn to look, look at, and probably to Latin cavēre to be on one's guard

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Statistics for show

Last Updated

23 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for show

The first known use of show was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for show



English Language Learners Definition of show

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause or allow (something) to be seen

: to give information that proves (something)

: to teach (someone) how to do or use something especially by letting that person see you do or use it



English Language Learners Definition of show (Entry 2 of 2)

: a performance in a theater that usually includes singing and dancing

: a public performance that is intended to entertain people

: a television or radio program


\ˈshō \
showed; shown\ˈshōn \ or showed; showing

Kids Definition of show

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to place in sight : display She showed everyone her pictures.

2 : reveal sense 2 They showed themselves to be cowards.

3 : to make known They showed their support.

4 : to give as appropriate treatment Show them no mercy. Show some respect.

5 : teach sense 1, instruct She showed him how to solve the problem.

6 : prove sense 1 That shows we're right.

7 : to lead to a place : direct I showed them to the door.

8 : to point out to Show me where it hurts.

9 : to be easily seen or noticed The stain hardly shows. Determination showed in her face.

show off

: to make an obvious display of a person's own abilities or possessions in order to impress others

show up

: appear sense 2 He didn't show up for work today.



Kids Definition of show (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a public performance intended to entertain people a puppet show a musical show

2 : a television or radio program

3 : an event at which things of the same kind are put on display a fashion show

4 : a display to make known a feeling or quality a show of strength She answered with some show of alarm.

5 : an appearance meant to deceive He made a great show of friendship.


\ˈshō \

Medical Definition of show 

1 : a discharge of mucus streaked with blood from the vagina at the onset of labor

2 : the first appearance of blood in a menstrual period

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showed; shown or showed; showing

Legal Definition of show 

: to demonstrate or establish by argument, reasoning, or evidence must show a compelling need for the court action

show cause

: to establish by reasoning and evidence a valid reason for something if a debtor wishes to extend a plan beyond three years, he must show cause— J. H. Williamson must show cause why the petition may not be granted

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Comments on show

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


to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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