show up

showed up; shown up or showed up; showing up; shows up

Definition of show up

transitive verb

1 : to expose or discredit especially by revealing faults showed them up as frauds … it showed him up for the irrelevant and offensive person he really is…— Owen Bennett
2 : to embarrass or cause to look bad especially by comparison trying to show up the boss The offensive line has been sub par with the defensive line showing them up for at least a few days.— James Anderson
3 : reveal showed up my ignorance

intransitive verb

1a : arrive, appear showed up late for his own wedding Hundreds of tourists showed up, wearing bright sweaters, even though it was warm.— Tony Earley
b : to become involved with others and make an active contribution But what we have to remind ourselves, and each other, is that our democracy only works for us if we show up.— America Ferrera also : to provide help and support for someone If you're in a position to defend and protect someone who is a victim of abuse, then do it… Show up for them. — Sa'iyda Shabazz
2 : to be plainly evident … [Woody Hayes] cared so much about people. That showed up in the way he did things in the community, the way he lent his name to charity events.— Kyle Rowland

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Examples of show up in a Sentence

normally, one doesn't see them, but the actress's wrinkles show up in the close-ups the band showed up an hour late
Recent Examples on the Web Hundreds of people showed up early Monday to claim a place in line ahead of the evening event in Rio Rancho. Fox News, "Trump, on offensive, hosts New Mexico rally, aiming to turn the state red," 17 Sep. 2019 Ocasek and Porizkova, who were not yet married, showed up at The Senator for the movie’s world premiere on Feb. 16, 1988. Chris Kaltenbach,, "Ric Ocasek spent his early years in Baltimore. Then he came back for ‘Hairspray.’," 16 Sep. 2019 In July, Markle showed up at Wimbledon to watch Williams. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Meghan Markle and Her Low Ponytail Are Headed to the U.S. Open," 6 Sep. 2019 The boy showed up to school in December 2018 despite being suspended. Scott Travis,, "Assistant principal accused of striking student retires," 13 Sep. 2019 On the fist day of classes, just 43 percent of buses showed up to school on time, down from more than half last year., "The problem with chronically late school buses in Boston has gotten so severe this year that some parents are now turning to ride-hailing services to ferry their children.," 12 Sep. 2019 This led to equipment being dropped off in the wrong places, and even a situation where a band showed up to the wrong wedding. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "These Guys Mapped Out Every 3-Meter Square on Earth with a Unique Three-Word Phrase," 4 Sep. 2019 Last month, after five hundred people showed up to a rally in Fairfield, more than a few told me that, although Obama’s audience in the same town twelve years ago was slightly larger, no other candidate’s numbers have come as close. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, "A Fresh, Well-Funded Start for Pete Buttigieg in Iowa," 4 Sep. 2019 Despite Congress still being in session, only Mayor Bill de Blasio showed up to the two-day forum. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Democrats Need to Decide Whether They Care About Muslim Voters," 4 Sep. 2019

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

1812, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for show up

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for show up

The first known use of show up was in 1812

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More Definitions for show up


show·​up | \ ˈshō-ˌəp\

Legal Definition of showup

: a presentation of a criminal defendant or arrestee individually to a witness for identification — compare lineup

Note: A showup identification may withstand a due process challenge when there is an emergency situation, when the presentation is accidental, or when otherwise the totality of the circumstances render it justifiable.

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More from Merriam-Webster on show up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for show up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with show up

Spanish Central: Translation of show up

Nglish: Translation of show up for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of show up for Arabic Speakers

Comments on show up

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


to engage in dissolute behavior

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