- v. & n.
—v. (past part. shown or showed)
1 intr. & tr. be, or allow or cause to be, visible; manifest; appear (the buds are beginning to show; white shows the dirt).
2 tr. (often foll. by to) offer, exhibit, or produce (a thing) for scrutiny etc. (show your tickets please; showed him my poems).
3 tr. a indicate (one's feelings) by one's behaviour etc. (showed mercy to him). b indicate (one's feelings to a person etc.) (showed him particular favour).
4 intr. (of feelings etc.) be manifest (his dislike shows).
5 tr. a demonstrate; point out; prove (has shown it to be false; showed that he knew the answer). b (usu. foll. by how to + infin.) cause (a person) to understand or be capable of doing (showed them how to knit).
6 tr. (refl.) exhibit oneself as being (showed herself to be fair).
7 tr. & intr. (with ref. to a film) be presented or cause to be presented.
8 tr. exhibit (a picture, animal, flower, etc.) in a show.
9 tr. (often foll. by in, out, up, etc.) conduct or lead (showed them to their rooms).
10 intr. = show up 3 (waited but he didn't show).
11 intr. US finish in the first three in a race.
1 the act or an instance of showing; the state of being shown.
2 a a spectacle, display, exhibition, etc. (a fine show of blossom). b a collection of things etc. shown for public entertainment or in competition (dog show; flower show).
3 a a play etc., esp. a musical. b a light entertainment programme on television etc. c any public entertainment or performance.
4 a an outward appearance, semblance, or display (made a show of agreeing; a show of strength). b empty appearance; mere display (did it for show; that's all show).
5 colloq. an undertaking, business, etc. (sold the whole show).
6 colloq. an opportunity of acting, defending oneself, etc. (gave him a fair show; made a good show of it).
7 Med. a discharge of blood etc. from the vagina at the onset of childbirth.
Phrases and idioms:
give the show (or whole show) away demonstrate the inadequacies or reveal the truth. good (or bad or poor) show! colloq.
1 that was well (or badly) done.
2 that was lucky (or unlucky). nothing to show for no visible result of (effort etc.). on show being exhibited. show business colloq. the theatrical profession. show-card a card used for advertising. show one's cards = show one's hand. show cause Law allege with justification. show a clean pair of heels colloq. retreat speedily; run away. show one's colours make one's opinion clear. show a person the door dismiss or eject a person. show one's face make an appearance; let oneself be seen. show fight be persistent or belligerent. show the flag see FLAG(1). show forth archaic exhibit; expound.
show one's hand
1 disclose one's plans.
2 reveal one's cards. show house (or flat etc.) a furnished and decorated house (or flat etc.) on a new estate shown to prospective buyers. show in see sense 9 of v. show a leg colloq. get out of bed.
1 display to advantage.
2 colloq. act pretentiously; display one's wealth, knowledge, etc. show-off n. colloq. a person who shows off. show of force proof that one is prepared to use force. show of hands raised hands indicating a vote for or against, usu. without being counted.
1 be seen in public.
2 see sense 6 of v. show out see sense 9 of v.
1 an item of work presented for exhibition or display.
2 an outstanding example or specimen. show-place a house etc. that tourists go to see. show round take (a person) to places of interest; act as guide for (a person) in a building etc. show-stopper colloq. a performance receiving prolonged applause. show one's teeth reveal one's strength; be aggressive.
1 be visible although supposedly concealed.
2 (of real feelings etc.) be revealed inadvertently. show trial esp. hist. a judicial trial designed by the State to terrorize or impress the public.
1 make or be conspicuous or clearly visible.
2 expose (a fraud, impostor, inferiority, etc.).
3 colloq. appear; be present; arrive.
4 colloq. embarrass or humiliate (don't show me up by wearing jeans).
show the way
1 indicate what has to be done etc. by attempting it first.
2 show others which way to go etc. show the white feather appear cowardly (see also white feather). show willing display a willingness to help etc. show-window a window for exhibiting goods etc.
Etymology: ME f. OE sceawian f. WG: cf. SHEEN
Useful english dictionary. 2012.