show trial


Definition of show trial

: a trial (as of political opponents) in which the verdict is rigged and a public confession is often extracted

Examples of show trial in a Sentence

They were forced to confess their guilt in public show trials.

Recent Examples on the Web

The purges and show trials were depicted as efforts to rid the country of German agents. Winston Groom, WSJ, "Unsavory Allies, From Stalin to the Saudis," 4 Dec. 2018 That has led to lengthy unexplained disappearances that often end in show trials. Eva Dou, WSJ, "Interpol’s Chinese President Reported Missing in China," 5 Oct. 2018 Are these gonna be any better or are these just show trials, essentially, that lead to nothing? Eric Johnson, Recode, "There should be ‘consequences’ for platforms that don’t remove people like Alex Jones, Senator Ron Wyden says," 22 Aug. 2018 Get our daily newsletter Your immediate nightmare is the flotation process, which is a cross between an election campaign, a show trial and an Ironman event. The Economist, "Life as you know it is IPOver," 12 July 2018 He was charged and convicted in a show trial of stealing a poster from a hotel. Anne Saker,, "Otto Warmbier's parents: 'Hopefully something good' will come of Trump-Kim summit," 12 June 2018 Several of them have been subjected to show trials and forced to make public confessions to crimes against the state before being sentenced to brutal labor camps., "Mike Pompeo heading to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong Un again," 9 May 2018 When the poet Heberto Padilla was subjected to a Stalinist show trial, Vargas Llosa gathered several friends at his home in Barcelona to draft a public denunciation of Castro. Marcela Valdes, New York Times, "The Elder Statesman of Latin American Literature — and a Writer of Our Moment," 20 Feb. 2018 Just a year later, Pravda took an active role in whipping up the hysteria that led to the show trials of the Great Purge. Will Englund, Washington Post, "Why Trump’s ‘enemy of the people’ bluster can’t be compared to Stalin’s savage rule," 17 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'show trial.' 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 trial

1928, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of show trial was in 1928

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show trial


English Language Learners Definition of show trial

: a trial in a court of law in which the verdict has been decided in advance

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with show trial

Comments on show trial

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


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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