Definition of have something (or nothing) to show for in US English:

have something (or nothing) to show for

phrase

  • Have a (or no) visible result of (one's work or experience)

    ‘a year later, he had nothing to show for his efforts’
    • ‘I think in the West we focus very much on externals, on getting things done, achieving things, we have to have something to show for what we do, and we're terribly busy.’
    • ‘They are well trained and professional but they don't have a lot to show for these 10 years of working hard.’
    • ‘Summer is almost over and I have nothing to show for it.’
    • ‘At least then I'd have something to show for the day.’
    • ‘When you buy, at least at the end of 25 years you have something to show for all that expense.’
    • ‘But in two years, the house will be worth a lot more and we will have something to show for it.’