\ ˈshō How to pronounce show (audio) \
showed\ ˈshōd How to pronounce showed (audio) \; shown\ ˈshōn How to pronounce shown (audio) \ 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 lawshow 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
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
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 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from show


showable \ ˈshō-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce showable (audio) \ 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

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bauer said the campaign is confident the state will ultimately certify results that show Biden won the state. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Biden campaign: Trump efforts to derail Michigan election results an 'abuse of office'," 21 Nov. 2020 Mike Guersch - director of Communications for Valley Community Baptist Church - said that the church’s congregation, unable to gather in person, wanted a way to show people how they could still be united with the community. Steve Smith,, "Valley Community Baptist Church holds three-month food drive," 20 Nov. 2020 This is an instant-read probe thermometer that can show you the temperature inside a brisket in just a few seconds. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "2020 Gift Guide: These clever gifts offer a little something for everyone," 19 Nov. 2020 Major studies are lacking that show any significant effect. Annie Vainshtein,, "Newsom is weighing a California curfew to help curb coronavirus. Is it backed by science?," 19 Nov. 2020 Furthermore, Prince William was said to be upset by the scenes that show Charles verbally abusing Diana. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Why This Season of the Crown Is So Controversial," 19 Nov. 2020 That calculation is made through a combing of exposure on television, online and print media and social media – essentially, any visual media that show the catch. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins isn't the only one benefiting from Hail Mary catch – Nike is, too," 18 Nov. 2020 Fox 11 Los Angeles obtained photos of the gathering that show the governor and his wife chatting with a man at what appears to be a distance of less than six feet. Evie Fordham, Fox News, "How many of his own coronavirus recommendations did Gavin Newsom violate?," 18 Nov. 2020 Giuliani burst back into the public eye in the stretch run of this election but has little to show for the Trump campaign's legal efforts., "A Rusty Giuliani Returns to the Courtroom on Trump's Behalf," 18 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun First a recap: Back in February, the mood was celebratory when Brooks wrapped up a show for a record-setting Ford Field crowd. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Garth Brooks looks back on Barry Sanders jersey flap: 'All it did was magnify ignorance'," 21 Nov. 2020 The Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra perform a holiday show in this 2019 concert., "Christmas movie guide: Where and when you can find holiday shows, from Hallmark movies to 'It's a Wonderful Life'," 21 Nov. 2020 Performances by the current and past judges and others connected to the show. Mike Hughes, The Enquirer, "Holiday TV guide 2020: When to watch holiday classics or cozy up to new gems," 20 Nov. 2020 Guitarist Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives play a live show at the Broadside at 7 p.m. Will Coviello,, "Upcoming live entertainment events in New Orleans," 20 Nov. 2020 There will be photos with Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, visits from Santa’s friends Frosty and Rudolph, a live show featuring theDowntown Fever band, face painting, crafts, games and snow flurries. Shannon Sutlief, Dallas News, "Holiday festivals and lightings throughout North Texas," 19 Nov. 2020 And the model of streaming means a show can be watched anytime, in any number of consecutive episodes. Bill Carter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Conan O'Brien's move to streaming seemed inevitable. But late-night TV is far from dead," 19 Nov. 2020 The floor slanted, the communal bathroom stank and a neighbor was blasting a raucous show that carried through the hallway. Trisha Thadani,, "S.F. will slow down plan to move 500 homeless people out of hotels, but mounting costs still a worry," 19 Nov. 2020 Two Walt Disney World rides and a Universal Studios stunt show were among the winners of the Themed Entertainment Association’s Thea Awards announced Thursday. Dewayne Bevil,, "Thea Awards go to Disney’s Rise of Resistance, Runaway Railway rides and Universal’s ‘Bourne Stuntacular’," 19 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about show

Time Traveler for show

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for show

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Show.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for show


How to pronounce show (audio)

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 How to pronounce show (audio) \
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.

Choose the Right Synonym for show


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.


\ ˈshō How to pronounce show (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!