verb \ˈshō\

Definition of show


play \ˈshōd\;


play \ˈshōn\ or




  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to cause or permit to be seen :  exhibit <showed pictures of the baby>

  3. 2 :  to offer for sale <stores were showing new spring suits>

  4. 3 :  to present as a public spectacle :  perform

  5. 4 :  to reveal by one's condition, nature, or behavior <showed themselves to be cowards>

  6. 5 :  to give indication or record of <an anemometer shows wind speed>

  7. 6a :  to point out :  direct attention to <showed the view from the terrace>b :  conduct, usher <showed me to an aisle seat>

  8. 7 :  accord, bestow <shows them no mercy>

  9. 8a :  to set forth :  declareb :  allege, plead —used especially in law <show cause>

  10. 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>

  11. 10 :  to present (an animal) for judging in a show

  12. intransitive verb
  13. 1a :  to be or come in view <3:15 showed on the clock>b :  to put in an appearance <failed to show>

  14. 2a :  to appear in a particular way <anger showed in their faces>b :  seem, appear

  15. 3a :  to give a theatrical performanceb :  to be staged or presented

  16. 4a :  to appear as a contestantb :  to present an animal in a show

  17. 5 :  to finish third or at least third (as in a horse race)

  18. 6 :  to exhibit one's artistic work


play \ˈshō-ə-bəl\ adjective

show one's hand

or less commonly

show one's cards

  1. 1 :  to display one's cards faceup

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

show one the door

  1. :  to tell someone to get out; also :  fire 2b

Examples of show in a sentence

  1. You have to show your tickets at the gate.

  2. You're the only person that I've shown this letter to.

  3. They showed the theory to be faulty.

  4. You will have to show me how to play the game.

  5. He showed them a card trick.

  6. Definitions tell you the meanings of words; examples show you how the words are used.

Origin and Etymology of 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

First Known Use: 12th century

Synonym Discussion of 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>.



noun, often attributive

Definition of show

  1. 1 :  a demonstrative display <a show of strength>

  2. 2a archaic :  outward appearanceb :  a false semblance :  pretense <made a show of friendship>c :  a more or less true appearance of something :  signd :  an impressive display <his role as househusband … was purely for show — John Lahr>e :  ostentation

  3. 3 :  chance 2 <gave him a show in spite of his background>

  4. 4 :  something exhibited especially for wonder or ridicule :  spectacle

  5. 5a :  a large display or exhibition arranged to arouse interest or stimulate sales <the national auto show>b :  a competitive exhibition of animals (as dogs) to demonstrate quality in breeding

  6. 6a :  a theatrical presentationb :  a radio or television programc :  entertainment 3b(1)

  7. 7 :  enterprise, affair <they ran the whole show>

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

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

Examples of show in a sentence

  1. She was the star of the show.

  2. The band always puts on a good show.

  3. a show of his early paintings

13th Century

First Known Use of show

13th century

SHOW Defined for English Language Learners



verb \ˈshō\

Definition of show for English Language Learners

  • : 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



noun, often attributive

Definition of show for English Language Learners

  • : 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

SHOW Defined for Kids



verb \ˈshō\

Definition of show for Students



\ˈshōn\ or



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

  2. 2 :  reveal 2 <They showed themselves to be cowards.>

  3. 3 :  to make known <They showed their support.>

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

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

  6. 6 :  prove 1 <That shows we're right.>

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

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

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

show off

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

show up

  1. :  appear 2 <He didn't show up for work today.>




Definition of show for Students

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

  2. 2 :  a television or radio program

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

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

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

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈshō\

Medical Definition of show

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

  2. 2:  the first appearance of blood in a menstrual period

Law Dictionary


transitive verb

Legal Definition of show






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

show cause

  1. :  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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possibly but not certainly

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