show

1 of 2

verb

showed ˈshōd How to pronounce show (audio) ; shown ˈshōn How to pronounce show (audio) or showed; showing

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
6
a
: 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
8
a
: to set forth : declare
b
: allege, plead
used especially in law
show cause
9
a
: 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

1
a
: to be or come in view
3:15 showed on the clock
b
: to put in an appearance
failed to show
2
a
: to appear in a particular way
anger showed in their faces
b
3
a
: to give a theatrical performance
b
: to be staged or presented
4
a
: 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
showable adjective

show

2 of 2

noun

often attributive
1
: a demonstrative display
a show of strength
2
a
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 showJohn Lahr
3
: chance sense 2
gave him a show in spite of his background
4
: something exhibited especially for wonder or ridicule : spectacle
5
a
: 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
6
a
: a theatrical presentation
b
: a regularly distributed program (as on radio, television, or the Internet)
She likes to watch "Unwrapped," a Food Network show that goes behind the scenes in the food industry.Ashley Barron
A month ago, the only podcast was "Trade Secrets," a daily news and technology talk show co-hosted by podcasting's pioneers: former MTV VJ Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer.Wayne Glowka et al.
also : a single episode of such a program
I've got time to watch one more show. Michael Schneider
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
Phrases
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
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

Examples of show in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun She was the star of the show. The band always puts on a good show. a show of his early paintings
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Video from Roberts’ camera shows the officer walking up behind Caraway as other officers flank him. Ryan Oehrli, Charlotte Observer, 3 July 2024 Hill said while Illinois’ gun ban remains in place, Thomas’ opinion shows the law’s days are numbered with his criticism of the appeal’s court’s ruling last year. Greg Bishop | The Center Square, Washington Examiner - Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government, 3 July 2024
Noun
Kartik Kumra of Kartik Research did just that this season, utilising his presentation time slot to stage a show during the first hour before closing out with a presentation. José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 4 July 2024 His show also inspired the 2023 film Paint, in which Owen Wilson plays a popular fictional painter who closely resembles Ross — until another artist comes along and challenges his status as host of the no. 1 public-access painting show. Julie Tremaine, Peoplemag, 4 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for show 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'show.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

Verb

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

Noun

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

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

Cite this Entry

“Show.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/show. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

show

1 of 2 verb
showed; shown ˈshōn How to pronounce show (audio) or showed; showing
1
: to place in sight : present so as to be seen
2
: reveal sense 2
showed strong feeling
3
: to give from or as if from a position of authority
we'll show them no mercy
4
: teach sense 1, instruct
showed me a few chords on the guitar
5
: prove sense 2a
that shows we're right
6
: to give indication or record of
his grades show some improvement
7
: usher entry 2 sense 1, guide
showed them to a seat
8
: to be noticeable
the patch hardly shows
the determination showed in her face
9
: to present (an animal) for judging in a show
10
: to be third or at least third (as in a horse race)

show

2 of 2 noun
1
: a display made for effect
a show of strength
2
a
: a false outward appearance
made a show of friendship
b
: a true indication : sign
a show of reason
3
: a ridiculous spectacle
4
: an entertainment or exhibition especially by performers (as on TV or the stage)
5
: a competitive exhibition (as of animals) to demonstrate quality
6
: third place at the finish (as of a horse race)

Medical Definition

show

noun
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

Legal Definition

show

transitive verb
showed; shown or showed; showing
: to demonstrate or establish by argument, reasoning, or evidence
must show a compelling need for the court action

More from Merriam-Webster on show

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