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 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
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

Example Sentences

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
Given that the majority of the season was played with Kupp and Matthew Stafford, those numbers started poorly and don’t show any signs of improvement. Adam Burke, Los Angeles Times, 2 Dec. 2022 Modern Ashkenazi Jews don’t show the medieval genetic heterogeneity. Shai Carmi, Fortune, 1 Dec. 2022 For the first half of December, weather models don’t show a strong effect from the Greenland block, with temperatures projected to be near or just slightly below normal. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2022 Marvel didn’t show just trailers for movies during the event. Maren Estrada, BGR, 1 Dec. 2022 Online court records do not yet show a new trial date. Alex Mann, Baltimore Sun, 30 Nov. 2022 Hydrated, smooth hands are healthier and don’t show signs of aging as quickly (just like the skin on your face). Vanessa Powell, Men's Health, 29 Nov. 2022 This rice cooker also didn't show the cook time remaining until the last minute of cooking, instead of during the entire cook time. Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping, 29 Nov. 2022 But if the confirmatory trial does not show benefit, the FDA has regulatory procedures that could lead to taking the drug off the market. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 29 Nov. 2022
Noun
Burke's announcement comes days after Len Goodman, who has ser head judge of the show since its 2005 premiere, announced his retirement after 17 years. Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY, 21 Nov. 2022 And people and fans argue that's not the first premise of the show. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 21 Nov. 2022 It’s Dunder Mifflin down to the tiniest detail and includes 15 mini-figures of the show’s main characters. Leanne Italie, Chicago Tribune, 21 Nov. 2022 The end of the World Cup story was not the end of the show; this being the final episode of the season, Oliver did a brief retrospective. Ky Henderson, Rolling Stone, 21 Nov. 2022 Of course, as fans of the show know, like any dangerous creature, Beth's at her most deadly when cornered, and there's no one in the Dutton family who gets her venom more than her brother Jamie. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 21 Nov. 2022 The turkey is unquestionably the king of the castle, the sovereign of the realm, the star of the show. al, 20 Nov. 2022 Cameron and Lauren are easily fan-favorites from season one of the show, and one reason could be because of how effortless their chemistry was. Elizabeth Ayoola, Essence, 18 Nov. 2022 Then, to the clothes, which despite all the other bells and whistles, made for perhaps the most unexpected facet of the show entirely. Liam Hess, Vogue, 18 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

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 4 Dec. 2022.

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

showed; shown or showed; showing
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on show

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ