show up

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Switching banks is harder, but, given the volume of credit-card solicitations that show up in the average mailbox every year, probably not much. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Money Is the Oxygen on Which the Fire of Global Warming Burns," 17 Sep. 2019 Since its peak a decade ago, high school football participation has dropped 16.3 percent in Connecticut — a sharper decline than the one that shows up in the national numbers. Alex Putterman, courant.com, "Football down? Running up? Six interesting trends in Connecticut high school sports participation," 13 Sep. 2019 Such a scene unfolded last Friday night at the Eliot Innovation K-8 School in the North End, where 52 children waited more than three hours after their 3:05 p.m. dismissal for a bus that never showed up. BostonGlobe.com, "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 The company has hired over 100 data scientists to build a robust set of algorithms, which determine everything from the size, silhouette, and style of each item that shows up on a client's doorstep. Wired, "Need Some Fashion Advice? Just Ask the Algorithm," 12 Sep. 2019 In last year’s municipal election just 34% of voters showed up. The Economist, "Tunisia’s election features fed-up voters and bizarre candidates," 12 Sep. 2019 That's the sort of biological wreckage that has shown up along the beaches at Barra del Chuy. Chris Mooney, Anchorage Daily News, "Large parts of the globe have already passed a crucial climate threshold," 11 Sep. 2019 If not the case, the tiebreaker goes to the team that shows up on more ballots. Jason Mcdaniel, Houston Chronicle, "Houston-area high school football media poll: Week 3," 10 Sep. 2019 Rain has ruined the holidays, but that’s not the only thing gone wrong: Edgar and Marta have disappeared, and a little while later the police show up with a warrant to search the house. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Three Summers' ('Três Verões'): Film Review | TIFF 2019," 7 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.

See More

First Known Use of show up

1812, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about show up

Statistics for show up

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for show up

The first known use of show up was in 1812

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for show up

showup

noun
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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on show up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with show up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a topic to which one constantly reverts

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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