Definition of show in English:



  • 1Be or allow or cause to be visible.

    [no object] ‘wrinkles were starting to show on her face’
    [no object, with complement] ‘the muscles of her jaws showed white through the skin’
    [with object] ‘a white blouse will show the blood’
    • ‘It was carved in the shape of an open mouth, thick red lips stretched in a silent scream, white teeth showing beneath and a black gaping hole.’
    • ‘A loud neigh erupted from the horse as it yanked away, whites of the eyes showing and ears back.’
    • ‘They show conspicuous white edgings in the wing-coverts and an absence of a white neck-patch.’
    • ‘This is the thing about any light-colored product; yes it shows the dirt; however, a dark-colored product gets just as dirty, but you may not be able to see it.’
    • ‘He grinned, showing even white teeth complementing his tanned skin.’
    • ‘I couldn't help it; I started laughing at my very visible blue bra showing clearly through my soaked shirt.’
    • ‘Christina's face also lit up at the sight of Kimberly and she grinned broadly, showing perfect white teeth, as she hugged her tightly.’
    • ‘The doe took off, alarmed, at a breakneck pace, the whites of her eyes showing.’
    • ‘He turns and sees me and flashes me a big smile that shows all his perfect white teeth.’
    • ‘The man's eyes rolled back so only the whites showed and more blood ran down the brick wall behind him.’
    • ‘This livery, like that introduced in 1974, showed every speck of dirt on the bus and lasted until late 1999.’
    • ‘Suddenly the girl's face brightened and she smiled widely, showing extremely white teeth.’
    • ‘She smiled brightly, white straight teeth showing behind pale pink lips.’
    • ‘His clothes were soaked and his six-pack showed clearly through his T-shirt.’
    • ‘Her arms, neck, and everything else that showed was white, from the obvious cold.’
    • ‘He does this by hurling himself to the floor, arms and legs flailing, with only the whites of his eyes showing.’
    • ‘I have an oatmeal-colored carpet so the dirt shows quite easily.’
    • ‘Many bands feel the need to cover the whole screen with pictures so that no white shows on the front page.’
    • ‘Black being a darker color will always show the dirt faster.’
    • ‘He was wearing a blue hooded top with the hood up and a white baseball cap peak showing underneath.’
    be visible, be seen, be in view, manifest
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Offer, exhibit, or produce (something) for scrutiny or inspection.
      ‘an alarm salesperson should show an ID card’
      [with two objects] ‘he wants to show you all his woodwork stuff’
      • ‘She led me upstairs and showed me a narrow room with a long line of narrow cots.’
      • ‘Since then, he has failed to show me figures to justify his criticisms.’
      • ‘So we did it and at the end, when we showed him the film, he said he liked it and that we had a very good sense of structure.’
      • ‘Officers had been shown a dirty white T-shirt which he said he had worn on the day his girlfriend vanished.’
      • ‘Immediately after showing them her card, Baird was asked to design an entire line.’
      • ‘Four of the group began looking at a car and the officer confronted them, saying, ‘Stop, police,’ and showing his warrant card.’
      • ‘When the policeman asked for his driving license, the man showed his residence card.’
      • ‘We are planning to attract a bigger audience - records are kept of all visitors and are shown to the artists.’
      • ‘Of course he found gold and to prove it he showed us a box containing about a hundred nuggets - none bigger than a grain of rice.’
      • ‘Police were called and were shown property deeds indicating the public right of way.’
      • ‘Mrs Tunstall offered to show them a video of children in care, but villagers shouted that they did not want to see it.’
      • ‘He's about to get thrown out of his apartment, he explained, showing me his lease.’
      • ‘Yet it should all have been so simple when I went into my local branch in early June and showed them my card.’
      • ‘She told us all about his adventures in the war, and showed us documents to prove it all.’
      • ‘I showed them my identity card from the government of President Karsai.’
      • ‘He showed his press card stating that he was a journalist with a well-known magazine.’
      • ‘I'm taken aback - even in bureaucratic Belgium you don't have to show your identity card to go for a pee.’
      • ‘At that stage, parents can show pictures on cards to their children, and talk to them about each of them.’
      • ‘They check our bags and ask us our names and we have to show them our identity cards.’
      display, exhibit, put on show, put on display, put on view, expose to view, unveil, present
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[with object]Put on display in an exhibition or competition.
      ‘he ceased early in his career to show his work’
      [no object] ‘other artists who showed there included Robert Motherwell’
      • ‘She stressed how significant it was for the exhibition to be shown first in Christchurch.’
      • ‘Its publication is also the launchpad for an exhibition that has been shown in Madrid and Seville and will be coming to London early next year.’
      • ‘Eugen Morosow's works had great success and were shown in numerous exhibitions.’
      • ‘Davidson at that time was showing Seattle artist John Grade, who last fall had his first museum solo at the Boise Art Museum.’
      • ‘Next month, the company's new ranges will be shown at an international exhibition at Lake Como, Italy.’
      • ‘The photographs will be shown in the exhibition room of Darwen library from November 3 to November 21.’
      • ‘They are not on permanent display, but are occasionally shown as part of an exhibition.’
      • ‘Others were painted by artists who are now largely forgotten, but who are shown to fresh advantage in the new display.’
      • ‘Many masterpieces by prominent Bulgarian artists will be shown until September.’
      • ‘The authors have already received offers to show their work in the U.S. and Canada.’
      • ‘The archive will be digitally catalogued to be shown in virtual exhibitions and the project should be open to the public in spring 2003.’
      • ‘They have been shown in 22 exhibitions in Europe and the United States.’
      • ‘Fuchs has achieved an international reputation, his work having been shown in one-man exhibitions in numerous countries.’
      • ‘A cross section of the photographs will be shown at an exhibition in Muckross Church at Easter time.’
      • ‘The graffiti that Scottish councils are fighting against is generally not the artistic type shown in this exhibition.’
      • ‘A stunning display of David Hockney portraits is to be shown at a new exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery next year.’
      • ‘Dr Dewes hoped the exhibition would be shown around the world once it closed in Christchurch in November.’
      • ‘Here, five international artists are being shown together.’
      • ‘They haven't a clue that the current professors are practicing artists who are widely shown around the world.’
      • ‘Work by potters Neil Richardson and Mick Morgan was shown, but the artists were unable to attend the viewing.’
      display, exhibit, put on show, put on display, put on view, expose to view, unveil, present
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3[with object]Present (a movie or television program) on a screen for public viewing.
      • ‘On the night before his film is shown at a local festival, John stops by his old pal Vince's motel room to catch up on old times.’
      • ‘Their newsreel films were shown both in Britain and to the troops in France.’
      • ‘The big distributors are only after money and to do this they have to show American films.’
      • ‘Mr Denbow said his multiplex was devoting six of its 12 screens to showing the films in an effort to meet demand.’
      • ‘Plus, if you cut out the swearing and pointless nudity, I see no reason why this film cannot be shown on Saturday morning TV.’
      • ‘If there are going to be arrests, I would suggest starting with the local television that showed the film.’
      • ‘Silent films are also shown, accompanied by live musical performances.’
      • ‘The race will be shown on big screens and televisions around the grounds.’
      • ‘It exists wherever films are shown, talked and written about, which is just about everywhere.’
      • ‘Baxter turned to producing and directing children's films intended to be shown at Rank's children's cinema clubs.’
      • ‘The two films being shown at this festival date back to his early South Korea days.’
      • ‘Vandals have attempted arson and have stoned theaters that are showing the film.’
      • ‘Usually the films are shown in Indian cinemas with a lengthy intermission between the two parts.’
      • ‘In many respects, this is the reverse of what used to happen when films were shown on television.’
      • ‘There was a rumor that the first trailer for the film would be shown, but no such luck.’
      • ‘The matter was taken to the House of Commons, and the film was not shown again by the BBC for over a year.’
      • ‘The film is also scheduled to be shown at festivals and competitions as far afield as Sydney.’
      • ‘The Trades Unions Congress was shown live on national television.’
      • ‘It's a dark theatre and you can't see anything, not to mention the film that's being shown on the screen.’
      • ‘The resulting film was so unsettling that it took half a century for the original cut of the film to be shown.’
      • ‘What took place then was shown on television screens as it happened around the world.’
      • ‘The documentary will be shown after their competition debut.’
      • ‘My films were shown in Europe, but I believe most European audiences could not understand them.’
      • ‘It is a beautifully shot, finely edited little gem that will eventually be shown on television.’
      • ‘The scenes were filmed for a police appeal on BBC's Crimewatch programme to be shown on national television on Wednesday night.’
      • ‘If your local theater isn't showing the film, call them and let them know that you would like to see it and you'd like them to show it.’
      • ‘It was shown on BBC television and was to be her final film.’
    4. 1.4[no object](of a movie) be presented on a screen for public viewing.
      ‘a movie showing at the Venice Film Festival’
      • ‘There are films showing in the private cinemas my father had to build.’
      • ‘A short season of recent Italian films is showing in London this month.’
      • ‘With five films regularly showing in the new cinema complex there is sure to be something to suit everyone's taste.’
      • ‘What that means, essentially, is that if a film is showing at a cinema in New Zealand, no DVD or video of that film can be brought in.’
      • ‘This film showed at the London Lesbian and Gay film festival this year to a rather uncrowded house, who left in stunned silence at the end.’
      • ‘Unfortunately for me, the new Harry Potter film was showing on the train and, although the views were great, sadly, I couldn't help but watch the film.’
      • ‘It is akin to covering one's ears, or more to point, running in and out of the theater while the film is showing.’
      • ‘Mattie was absorbed in whatever film was showing on the plane.’
      • ‘The film is showing as part of a Janet Leigh season.’
      • ‘The festival closes on Sunday and some of these films don't show after tonight.’
      • ‘Like Blackboards, both films showed in Cannes and were jointly awarded the Camera d'Or for best debut feature.’
      • ‘One might look to two youth-themed Czech films showing as part of a package of Czech cinema at Metro.’
      • ‘A large number of silent films were also showing at picture houses all over Bradford.’
    5. 1.5[with object]Indicate (a particular time, measurement, etc.)
      ‘a travel clock showing the time in different cities’
      • ‘She looked up at a clock and it showed her she only had fifteen seconds left.’
      • ‘Some drivers have been reported deliberately speeding up when they see the signs to make them show a high speed.’
      • ‘The toner indicators on the built-in display showed a fair bit of life left in them.’
      • ‘She glanced at the speed limit sign, which showed a 50 in a big red circle.’
      • ‘In the upper right of my vision the standard clock icon appeared, showing me the time of the recording, counting me forwards.’
      • ‘Above them is the status display, showing the number of ‘exposures’ you have left, battery charge and image size.’
      • ‘He was very keen on selling me a desktop clock which would show me the time in Bangkok.’
      • ‘Progress up and down the five-speed box is tracked by an indicator on the dashboard showing you what gear you're in.’
      • ‘Turn left here to reach a view indicator showing the Grampians, Cairngorms and Perthshire mountains.’
      • ‘He said signs showing the various speed limits will be set up across the island, if the speed limit becomes effective.’
    6. 1.6[with object]Represent or depict in art.
      ‘a postcard showing the Wicklow Mountains’
      • ‘We haven't experienced the level of fanaticism that's shown in the film.’
      • ‘Local clergymen have joined the Bishop of Manchester in condemning a poster showing baby Jesus wearing a Father-Christmas-style hat.’
      • ‘It is reproduced from a late-1800s picture postcard showing Crookhill Green and the village pond.’
      • ‘Inside the thick envelope was a card showing a school of dolphins from above, surfacing through crystal water.’
      • ‘I buy an awful 10p postcard, showing a big red bus driving through Piccadilly Circus.’
      • ‘We know that he was immensely proud of this, both from his will and from the fact that he is shown wearing the medal in all his subsequent portraits.’
      • ‘The TV ad - due to be shown on Wednesday - depicts a young man thinking about how a typical night out could go.’
      • ‘The statue, created by sculptor Tom Murphy, shows a striding Lennon wearing his trademark round glasses and a casual suit.’
      • ‘The cover, a thin card folder, shows a bearded man gesticulating at traffic from the pavement.’
      • ‘New plants are often introduced with slides showing the plant through various stages during the growing season.’
      • ‘The picture shows some of the artists who add to the fun when there is a local event.’
      • ‘Each portrait is of an actor who is shown in his depiction of a protagonist in a play - a portrayal of a portrayal, as it were.’
      depict, portray, render, picture, delineate, illustrate, characterize, paint, draw, sketch
      View synonyms
    7. 1.7Allow oneself to be seen; appear in public.
      ‘he was amazed that she would have the gall to show herself’
      • ‘The two of them continued to walk down the streets in silence, apparently unafraid to show themselves in public.’
      • ‘I mean, come on, she never showed herself in public!’
      • ‘Although they do not dare show themselves in public, they are all the more active on the Internet.’
      • ‘I was fortunate that one day whilst I was aboard, a Sei whale showed itself and allowed us to get quite close.’
      • ‘They are very careful about personal appearance and avoid showing themselves even partially naked.’
      • ‘If the guy exists, why doesn't he ever show himself and prove it?’
      • ‘I'd never be able to show myself in public again!’
      • ‘This streaker has committed at least two arrestable offences by showing himself in public and running onto the pitch.’
      appear, turn up, arrive, make in an appearance, put in an appearance, present itself, present oneself, come into sight, come into view, emerge, surface, loom, become visible, show itself, show oneself, reveal itself, reveal oneself, show one's face, come to light, pop up
      View synonyms
    8. 1.8informal [no object]Arrive or turn up for an appointment or at a gathering.
      ‘her date failed to show’
      • ‘One of those who might have defended his appointment did not show at the conference.’
      • ‘But he failed to show for his June sentencing.’
      • ‘I was waiting for him at 7 sharp, but he didn't show.’
      • ‘Tension was high even before kick-off as the appointed referee failed to show.’
      • ‘She asked Amanda to throw a welcome dinner for her and the plan was for a certain gorgeous actor to come along to the party last weekend, but he didn't show.’
      appear, arrive, come, get here, get there, be present, put in an appearance, make an appearance, materialize, turn up, present oneself, report, clock in, sign in
      View synonyms
    9. 1.9North American [no object]Finish third or in the first three in a race.
    10. 1.10informal [no object](of a woman) be visibly pregnant.
      ‘Shirley was four months pregnant and just starting to show’
      • ‘She only recognized a woman was pregnant after she started showing; she had never given thought to what happened before then.’
      • ‘Even though she isn't showing, her baby is due next month.’
      • ‘She was still in her first trimester, so she wasn't showing yet, but she was suffering from morning sickness.’
  • 2[with object] Display or allow to be perceived (a quality, emotion, or characteristic)

    ‘it was Frank's turn to show his frustration’
    ‘his sangfroid showed signs of cracking’
    • ‘After all, he and his wife have already shown an interest in the subject.’
    • ‘The crowd shuffled and mumbled and showed few signs of vitality.’
    • ‘A guy was standing in her way, eyes showing amazement and some emotion that looked like relief.’
    • ‘They were also different in their attitudes about emotions, showing affection, and sex.’
    • ‘With the determination she's shown in the last few months, she's proved nothing's impossible.’
    • ‘Temperamental, vain and self-obsessed, she shows little sign of an interior life or interests.’
    • ‘He showed no emotion as he received two life sentences for the double child murder.’
    • ‘Makoto has also shown a fiery competitive spirit in racing that does not rely on dangerous kamikaze tactics.’
    • ‘The documentaries are also unusually moving, showing the sadness and emotion of the cast and crew as they came to their last day on set, and their reluctance to let go.’
    • ‘He remained composed and showed no emotion as he was taken away by prison officers to begin his life sentence.’
    • ‘The nurse, clad in a pale brown skirt suit, showed little emotion during the ruling, which took an hour and a quarter to read.’
    • ‘So far, however, neither arts council nor local authority shows any inclination to offer additional support.’
    • ‘Whatever she said, whatever happened, he would accept it - showing no emotion.’
    • ‘None of the other prisoners thought he showed any sign of being suicidal, although he was quieter on the night before his death.’
    • ‘The man who preached love and showed compassion received neither.’
    • ‘Most of us up grow up in a society that rarely allows us to show our true feelings.’
    • ‘The teenager, wearing a pink jacket, showed no signs of emotion as she was given a two-year sentence.’
    • ‘Like a typical American wife, she showed her irritation and hurt, right there in the airport lobby.’
    • ‘One change for the nurses is that it is now acceptable for them to show their own emotions.’
    • ‘She had always been the strong one who hated showing her emotions and it broke my mother's heart watching her fall to pieces and not being able to make all her pain and suffering go away.’
    • ‘The footballer bit his lip but showed no other signs of emotion when the verdict was delivered.’
    manifest, make manifest, exhibit, reveal, convey, communicate, make known
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Accord or treat someone with (a specified quality)
      ‘he urged his soldiers to fight them and show no mercy’
      [with two objects] ‘he has learned to show women some respect’
      • ‘No one made me hot lemon drinks or brought me books to read, or showed the slightest sign of sympathy.’
      • ‘According to him, during his presidency the group had shown him scant respect.’
      • ‘When Eliza tried to make it up to him by showing him signs of her physical affection, Peter turned cold.’
      • ‘Then again, if he did spare the soldiers they would show him no mercy.’
      • ‘She watched in fascination, sadly noting that the kindness the boy had shown her before were gone.’
      • ‘Greater respect should be shown for the instruments of the United Nations.’
      • ‘I had barely set my case down on the bed when my father left, showing me very little signs of affection.’
      • ‘A man who hid a quantity of class A drugs in the waistband of his trousers has been shown mercy by a judge.’
      • ‘I would also like to express my appreciation of the courtesy shown to me by my opponents throughout the election and on polling night.’
      • ‘Those determined to be on the side of evil and determined to be a threat will be shown no mercy.’
      • ‘She is just bitter about the lack of courtesy and respect she has been shown after all these years.’
      • ‘She impressed judges with the compassion shown to bereaved parents as well as her commitment to raising cash for the charity.’
      • ‘This is a very tough burden to bear and respect must be shown to any man/woman who shows the fortitude to take on that responsibility.’
      • ‘He has also showed that when there's surplus to requirements at the club, no mercy will be shown.’
      • ‘He then accused fans of not showing him respect.’
      • ‘She had worked at the law firm for 3 years now and they still showed her no respect.’
      • ‘The Bradford Royal Infirmary deserves to be proud of the way all its patients are treated and the respect shown to everyone.’
      • ‘It also allows people to show their appreciation to you, which is an important aspect of the relationship as well.’
      • ‘After having listened actively to all they had to say, we show empathy and offer appropriate care.’
      • ‘Now if that person is showing you signs of fear these are typically thought of as signs of lying.’
    2. 2.2[no object](of an emotion) be noticeable.
      ‘he tried not to let his relief show’
      • ‘He came still closer, then stopped straight in front of her, emotion showing in his green eyes.’
      • ‘His face was still, with no emotion showing, and his eyes bored into her, a spark of anger flitting through them briefly.’
      • ‘You never saw her with her hair down or her emotions showing.’
      • ‘The emotion showed so clearly in his eyes, and for a second, it seemed as if he was talking about me.’
      • ‘Here, she glanced jealously at Madeleine, and it was the first time any emotion had shown on her face.’
      • ‘She looked deeply into the blankness of his sable eyes; as usual no emotion showed.’
      • ‘He shrugged and stared at his brother, no emotions showing on his face.’
      • ‘There was almost no emotion showing, for this was a grief too deep for tears, and yet, you could see the storm behind the calm.’
      • ‘He looked up, anger and frustration still showing plainly on his expressive face.’
      • ‘So many mixed emotions showed on his face - anger, shock, sadness, disbelief, and then nothing.’
      • ‘In fact, he recoiled in disgust, his contempt clearly showing on his face.’
      • ‘The other diplomat was still speechless, and through his anger, cracks of panic were showing.’
      • ‘It struck me that the emotion showing on her face was - more than even her energetic movements - what bonded the artists.’
      • ‘I never let my true emotions show; I just aimed to get through those four weeks.’
      • ‘He had a hunched nervous appearance and the distress showed clearly in his voice as he told her what had happened after he'd left her the previous day.’
      • ‘Creighton was matter-of-fact, no emotion showing in his gravely voice.’
      • ‘Anticipation shows on the faces of these teenagers as they prepare to celebrate the end of school.’
      • ‘After months in denial, he let his emotions show this week, after the most blatant round of leaking yet.’
      • ‘Disappointment showed on his dark features and deep resentment filled his heart.’
      • ‘There was a knock at the door and Dr. Whitfield came in wearing her crisp white doctor's coat with no emotion showing on her face.’
  • 3[with object] Demonstrate or prove.

    ‘experts say this shows the benefit of regular inspections’
    [with clause] ‘the figures show that the underlying rate of inflation continues to fall’
    • ‘‘Shipley has been shown by government figures to need more childcare places,’ he said.’
    • ‘In the past the bride's parents helped to cover the costs of the wedding but the new figures show this is a fading tradition.’
    • ‘Six important manuscripts by the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have been revealed, showing a new side to the creator of ‘Sherlock Holmes’.’
    • ‘Figures showed it has once again hit all nine key targets to clinch its three-star rating.’
    • ‘Apart from showing the artist's immense talent as a painter, the exhibition aims to show that Turner was also a very astute businessman.’
    • ‘Having struggled to maintain their status for the past number of years, Cloneen have been showing a much more competitive edge this season.’
    • ‘Figures showed they were also three times more likely to lose their appeals.’
    • ‘A recent safety blitz by health and safety inspectors showed scaffold and roof workers were the worst offenders.’
    • ‘There is one set of figures showing somebody earned £23,000 above their basic pay.’
    • ‘He points to statistics showing that white cops kill fewer blacks than black cops do.’
    • ‘They have shown that the great white shark is not a mindless killer, and its positive profile is now higher than ever.’
    • ‘A closer look at the census figures shows a much more disturbing trend.’
    • ‘The hi-tech giant today revealed half-year results showing a rise in pre-tax profits and a fall in debts.’
    • ‘Recent inspections of troops have shown them to be tough, well trained, and in good fettle.’
    • ‘Figures show North Yorkshire's roads are among the most dangerous in the country.’
    • ‘The restaurant will have to pass an inspection showing the rats have been got rid of before it can reopen to the public.’
    • ‘A recent report shows that visible minorities are much more likely to come in contact with police here.’
    • ‘It has been shown in a survey conducted by the National Gallery that its patrons spend an average of six to seven seconds looking at each painting.’
    • ‘It's a pretty good job although a closer inspection shows it to be a fake.’
    • ‘The first study fell short of showing a statistically significant benefit.’
    • ‘It shows that white South Africans in the Apartheid era were a pretty nervous lot.’
    prove, demonstrate, confirm, show beyond doubt, manifest, produce proof, submit proof, produce evidence, submit evidence, establish evidence, evince
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Prove or demonstrate oneself to be.
      [with infinitive] ‘she showed herself to be a harsh critic’
      [with complement] ‘he showed himself to be an old-fashioned Baptist separatist’
      • ‘Because the state reserves to itself exclusive entitlement to command obedience, it shows itself intolerant toward all institutions other than itself.’
      • ‘The new party chief for Moscow was Boris Yeltsin, a combative apparatchik in his previous post as head of the Sverdlovsk party organization, but soon showing himself as an implacable enemy of the deep-seated corruption he found in Moscow.’
      • ‘The body of MEPs frequently shows itself to be very poor in representing those who have elected it, preferring often to be swayed by the myriad lobbyists that cajole and persuade or by their national governments.’
      • ‘The film is a success because it shows itself a work of love.’
      • ‘It shows itself able to function as a flexible vehicle for themes and concerns both timely and timeless; it's as evocative of airplane disasters as of the fall of Icarus.’
      • ‘She soon shows herself rather more sophisticated than he is.’
      • ‘It soon showed itself as outdated as the regime it was seeking to challenge.’
      • ‘My own view is that both aims can be achieved, but only on two conditions: one, that government shows itself to be properly supportive of real quality, even if it does not always understand it.’
      • ‘The youths, for their part, must show themselves worthy to receive the mantle of leadership because with elevation comes extra responsibility.’
      • ‘As the world environment grows more tense than it has been since the end of the Cold War, the UN shows itself hopelessly inefficient at tackling such threats.’
      • ‘The emperor's talent for showing himself open to all cultures was also well demonstrated by his relationships with the Jesuits.’
      • ‘‘But Bremer soon showed himself closely aligned to the generals, as well as to the neo-cons in Washington and their allies in Jerusalem’.’
      • ‘In demonstrating his versatility, he shows himself to be as much skillful artisan as easy-going metaphysician.’
      • ‘Until the Church shows itself proud enough of its faith to impose a limit to its tolerance, it will never earn the respect of other religions, and it will continue to be the victim of such crass attacks.’
    2. 3.2Cause to understand or be capable of doing something by explanation or demonstration.
      [with clause] ‘he showed the boy how to operate the machine’
      • ‘Peter had half explained and half shown me what had happened to him over the past two years.’
      • ‘The pair are at their best when showing you how to conduct such a discussion so that it has a chance of success.’
      • ‘When she was ready she showed Amy how to use it and warned her of the dangers.’
      • ‘Teach me - show me how you do that stuff - never have I heard a player such as you.’
      • ‘Kay watched over them and I saw one of the boys showing her how to throw daggers.’
      • ‘He took the time to explain what each tool was called and showed her how to use them.’
      • ‘It doesn't take all that long to pick up, and it takes a lot longer to explain than it does to just show you.’
      • ‘The visitors will also be handing out shower cards, showing men how to examine for testicular cancer, and using state-of-the-art scales to measure body mass.’
      • ‘Sometimes training your staff is as simple as explaining a new policy and showing everyone how to implement it.’
      • ‘Here is the URL to our online training video with him explaining and showing you what you need to do.’
      • ‘And so the two American boys really showed us how to do it, and we learnt dramatically from those lessons.’
      • ‘Now he will show other Scots the benefits of eating wholesome food.’
      • ‘I think he took great delight in showing us poor city boys how it is done.’
      demonstrate to, point out to, explain to, describe to, expound to
      View synonyms
    3. 3.3[with object]Conduct or lead.
      ‘show them in, please’
      • ‘None of the three girls said a word as the butler returned and offered to show them to their rooms.’
      • ‘He shows me in, indicating where he welcomes his home-movie enthusiasts.’
      • ‘On arrival, I was handed a pair of pink pyjamas, which all the patients wear, and was shown to the huge dormitory.’
      escort, accompany, take, walk, conduct, lead, usher, bow, guide, direct, steer, shepherd, attend, chaperone
      View synonyms


  • 1A spectacle or display of something, typically an impressive one.

    ‘spectacular shows of bluebells’
    • ‘All of these sites are now dominated by buffel and couch grass so that spectacular shows of native flora are but a memory.’
    • ‘Her favourite perennials are lilies which put on a show of colour before the annuals get into full swing.’
    • ‘Not only that, but each June they put on a spectacular show as they burst into misty pale lilac bloom.’
    • ‘We have two crocuses that have bloomed and the primulas are putting on a brave show of colour.’
    display, array, arrangement, exhibition, presentation, exposition, spectacle
    View synonyms
  • 2A public entertainment, in particular.

    1. 2.1A play or other stage performance, especially a musical.
      • ‘Then they would have experienced what it is like to stand on stage, put a show together, direct one or write one.’
      • ‘I was fortunate to have an inspiring English teacher at school in Dublin who staged our school shows.’
      • ‘Australian Tim Minchin won the best newcomer award for his musical show ‘Darkness’.’
      • ‘Seán is well known on the musical circuit and is an instantly recognisable figure on stage and in shows all over Ireland.’
      • ‘Amy will perform songs from the musicals and the stage show will include a date in her home town Bolton this summer.’
      • ‘We would stage shows, sell tickets and use the money we made for costumes.’
      • ‘As a result of these discussions it was decided that it was appropriate to stage the show in a more intimate setting than the school hall.’
      • ‘Two thought-provoking shows are being staged in Chipping Norton this weekend.’
      • ‘His image is captured in some of the photographs of the musical shows which were held in the Town Hall before World War Two.’
      • ‘He fondly recalls his first foray into musicals being a show about a snowman in which he had to throw pieces of paper as pretend snow.’
      • ‘They staged similar shows in Macintyre's home town of Nairn in 1999 and in Forres two years ago.’
      • ‘A hundred free tickets were given away - and demand was so high that they could have staged several other shows.’
      • ‘He had one persistent problem: He had no money to stage his shows or pay his actors.’
      • ‘As the film's cult appeal has grown, the stage show has also continued evolving.’
      • ‘He performed his first stage show when he was only four and began hitch-hiking at the age of three.’
      • ‘A variety show was staged at York Rugby League Club's Wigginton Road ground.’
      • ‘At one end there is a stage where puppet shows are regularly held.’
      • ‘By the time he graduated he was already making good money from his London stage shows.’
      • ‘It will be directed by Susan Stroman, who directed the stage shows.’
      • ‘Joelle Richmond plays the title role in the traditional family show ‘Puss in Boots’ next Wednesday to Saturday.’
      performance, public performance, theatrical performance, production, staging
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2A program on television or radio.
      • ‘He has appeared on magazine covers, commercials and television shows.’
      • ‘I've been invited to a screening tonight of some new television shows and commercials.’
      • ‘For the past thirty years, David Croft has been responsible for some of the most popular comedy shows on British television.’
      • ‘The business of putting sponsors' products in television shows has been around a long time.’
      • ‘Indeed, his expertise and views are regularly sought both on radio and television shows.’
      • ‘He continues to make regular guest appearances on a wide range of television shows.’
      • ‘I also appeared on radio shows and cable-access television stations throughout the state.’
      • ‘Chris Evans is to present two shows for BBC Radio 2 over the Easter bank holiday.’
      • ‘He was, however, fantastically popular in the London area for his regular shows on Capital Radio.’
      • ‘The students recorded an hour-long show for the radio station from their school.’
      • ‘I think I preferred him when he was on those Radio 4 comedy shows.’
      • ‘I am not a regular listener to his radio show, but when I do tune in I tend to like his irreverent style.’
      • ‘He has worked as a presenter in some television shows and as an actor and film director.’
      • ‘In a very short space of time it has become one of the most talked about shows on television and the feedback from the audience has been fantastic.’
      • ‘The two met on the comedy circuit and were given their own show on BBC Radio Scotland in 1997.’
      • ‘He was a man of independent thought who formed his own opinions and was not a man to be swayed by the suave takers so beloved of some television shows.’
      • ‘At one stage they both had their own radio and television shows in Sydney catering for the Irish ex-pats.’
      • ‘The company said it has produced a record number of shows, on both television and radio, on all of the major British networks.’
      • ‘Paul is producing comedy shows for BBC Television and has been involved in encouraging new talent.’
      • ‘Three BBC Radio Norfolk presenters are swapping seats to present new shows at the radio station from 8 July.’
      • ‘Stan has been handed a role in another ITV-commissioned show still in production.’
      • ‘Today, having notched up a number of performances on television and stage, Marianne has begun contributing to radio shows.’
      broadcast, production, presentation, transmission, performance, telecast, simulcast, videocast, podcast
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3[usually with adjective or noun modifier]An event or competition involving the public display or exhibition of animals, plants, or products.
      ‘the annual agricultural show’
      • ‘Livestock remains the nucleus of the event, with many animals already prizewinners from other top shows.’
      • ‘Most visitors to the annual motor show in the city were amused by what seemed to be a pygmy four-wheeler.’
      • ‘Young Farmers classes are still an important part of local agricultural shows today.’
      • ‘Yet another agricultural show has fallen victim to the foot and mouth disease crisis.’
      • ‘The historic rooms are home to small shows and cultural events such as talks and seminars.’
      • ‘Children as young as three will be taking part in a singing and dancing show tonight.’
      • ‘You cannot hold an agricultural show without temporary accommodation or without providing alcohol.’
      • ‘She and her husband used to have what was, for the Dales, a big farm, with cattle that won prizes at local agricultural shows.’
      • ‘Huge crowds came from all over Kerry to witness the largest animal show in Europe.’
      • ‘Mr Rice added he had also taken the tank to several military shows including events at Tilbury Fort and Battlesbridge.’
      • ‘His friend is also involved with the Royal Horticultural Society, which organises the major shows throughout the country.’
      • ‘At their annual cultural show, I am blown away at their singing and dancing ability.’
      • ‘Many say they face a bleak summer after the cancellation of a string of agricultural shows across the county.’
      • ‘The Essex Cat Club judged 421 cats in its annual show at Towerlands Theatre, Braintree.’
      • ‘In cat or dog shows such as Crufts, the contestants are judged purely on features of the breed.’
      • ‘It has been a winner at several shows and a small display of the plants will be seen this year at the Ancient Society's July show.’
      • ‘Perhaps, today should mark the start of a new era for our local agricultural show.’
      • ‘The 43rd annual show will include refreshments, a plant sale, a tombola and a raffle.’
      • ‘This is an event you mostly only get to see at the agricultural shows around Australia.’
      • ‘Highlights also included majorettes, a steel band, a fun dog show and a tug-of-war competition.’
      • ‘We have had a fantastic summer for the agricultural shows.’
      • ‘She said the financial health of at least 20 of Yorkshire's annual agricultural shows would be severely affected.’
      • ‘There are 16 qualifying shows for this event and this should be a huge attraction both on a local and national level.’
      exhibition, demonstration, display, exposition, fair, presentation, extravaganza, spectacle, pageant
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4informal An undertaking, project, or organization.
      ‘I man a desk in a little office. I don't run the show’
      • ‘Who's running this show, anyway?’
      • ‘Obviously, I don't run the show (thank God, you're thinking), and it's a free country.’
      undertaking, affair, operation, proceedings, enterprise, business, venture, organization, establishment
      View synonyms
    5. 2.5NZ, US, Australian informal An opportunity for doing something; a chance.
      ‘I didn't have a show’
      chance, lucky chance, good time, golden opportunity, time, occasion, moment, favourable moment, favourable occasion, favourable time, right set of circumstances, appropriate moment, appropriate occasion, appropriate time, suitable moment, suitable occasion, suitable time, opportune moment, opportune occasion, opportune time, opening, option, slot, turn, go, field day
      View synonyms
  • 3An outward appearance or display of a quality or feeling.

    ‘Joanie was frightened of any show of affection’
    • ‘He was angry, while the organisers made plain their unhappiness at what they saw as a petulant show of defiance.’
    • ‘All ten outfield players rushed to huddle round him in a spontaneous show of spirit.’
    • ‘It's a pleasant show of human kindness in a time when all we seem to hear about is terrorism and violence.’
    • ‘The event became an overwhelming show of public emotion with thousands lining the streets to pay their respects.’
    • ‘So in a rare show of family solidarity, we all trooped out to the nursing home for tea and cake.’
    • ‘Their abseiling antics provided the crowd with a delightful show of strength and control.’
    • ‘Never have I seen such a show of irrational and unprovoked verbal abuse.’
    • ‘In a rare show of optimism, Mottaki stressed that a settlement could be reached on the nuclear issue.’
    • ‘A local show of strength then escalated into a confrontation with police.’
    • ‘In a defiant show of solidarity, fans are planning a peaceful march through the city to the ground prior to kick-off.’
    • ‘In how many companies would the workforce down tools in a spontaneous show of support for their former leader?’
    • ‘They will join other sugar beet farmers from Galway and other counties in a show of solidarity.’
    • ‘The second half opened with a staggering show of stamina from four girls named The Pantheras.’
    • ‘I'd be lying if I said I did not enjoy that, because I see it as a show of affection from our fans and I thank them for it.’
    • ‘The Indians interpreted that as a show of support for Pakistan's claim on the region.’
    • ‘The strike was nothing more than a show of strength between a woman who thought she could see the future and a man who wanted to preserve the past.’
    • ‘Most of the group of about 20 people wore blue ribbons in a show of solidarity with Moodley.’
    • ‘Neither was it greeted with an overwhelming show of unity by their followers.’
    • ‘Sixty residents packed into a council meeting in a show of strength against plans to build 450 houses on the land.’
    • ‘Such shows of belligerence in the face of the party's latest crisis are unlikely to win over critics on his own back benches.’
    • ‘Mr Wills will be visiting the academy on Friday as a show of support.’
    • ‘North Swindon MP, Michael Wills, will visit the school on Friday in a show of support.’
    1. 3.1An outward display intended to give a particular, false impression.
      ‘Drew made a show of looking around for firewood’
      ‘they are all show and no go’
      • ‘The show of amity presented by the two men on the front bench yesterday was just that: a show.’
      • ‘He put on a show of bravado, but inwardly he was seeking any way out of his predicament.’
      • ‘She resolutely ignores me, making a theatrical show of turning away and yawning.’
      • ‘To say he is all show and no substance is a pretty naive remark too.’
      • ‘As soon as he walked in all cameras focused on him and his hero pals made an exaggerated show of affection towards him.’
      appearance, display, impression, ostentation, affectation, image, window dressing
      pretence, outward appearance, false appearance, front, false front, air, guise, semblance, false show, illusion, pose, affectation, profession, parade
      View synonyms
  • 4Medicine
    A discharge of blood and mucus from the vagina at the onset of labor or menstruation.

    • ‘How long after having a show did you do into labour?’
    • ‘Some women notice a bit of mucus in their pants and may not realise it's a show.’


  • for show

    • For the sake of appearance rather than for use.

      • ‘Yes, he was egotistical and overbearing but it was all for show; a way to get under the skin of liberals.’
      • ‘We don't want theme parks here, with one calligrapher and one artisan retained just for show.’
      • ‘It's not just for show - if it were, we'd have a much newer and better-looking one.’
      • ‘All those flames in a Chinese restaurant aren't just for show.’
      • ‘The stage was incredibly busy to watch, but nothing was done for show, emphasising the musical creativity of the band.’
      • ‘But we think the oxygen tank he's lugging around now is just for show.’
      • ‘It was a commonplace of Roman food writing to despise complicated dishes designed for show rather than for taste.’
      • ‘It seems to me the meetings are being held only for show; I hope I'm wrong.’
      • ‘They run businesses, hospitals and schools as part of an infrastructure, not just for show.’
      • ‘Reading unsympathetically, we may reflect that there's not much he does that isn't for show.’
      • ‘As a result, New York has become two cities: one for show, and one for real.’
  • get (or keep) the show on the road

    • informal Begin (or succeed in continuing with) an undertaking or enterprise.

      ‘“Let's get this show on the road—we're late already.”’
      • ‘They're the ones that really got the show on the road.’
      • ‘Regular meetings will commence shortly to get the show on the road and all ideas and suggestions will be welcome.’
      • ‘Here's a man who can shoulder a crisis, keep the show on the road, juggle two mobile phones, a walkie-talkie and a landline and still keep a semblance of sanity.’
      • ‘But while they will keep the show on the road for the time being, thus staving off catastrophe as the housing boom peters out, they could easily be undone by the end of this decade if taxes and regulations continue to increase.’
      • ‘However the accident had taken a big toll as regards the business and, unfortunately, John also started to develop other health problems, under pressure to keep the show on the road.’
      • ‘Within three weeks I started to get the show on the road.’
      • ‘He thanked all who had kept the show on the road while he was away and who had attended so dutifully to the various aspects of running the club and organising activities.’
      • ‘‘Now that we've made the commitment I don't want to waste any time in getting the show on the road,’ the Minister stressed.’
      • ‘You can bet the budget they were given was not very big, and someone has taken the initiative to get sponsorship to get the show on the road.’
      • ‘He was involved in every organisation in his native parish and, in most cases, he was the man who kept the show on the road.’
      • ‘Like every organisation, the committee members need finance to keep the show on the road and are, at present, organising their annual draw.’
      begin, start, start off
      View synonyms
  • good (or bad or poor) show!

    • informal, dated Used to express approval (or disapproval or dissatisfaction)

      • ‘Suddenly, the toffs' expressions changed: ‘Oh, poor show!’’
      • ‘He does, however, manage a raffish ‘good show!’’
  • have something (or nothing) to show for

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

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

    • Being exhibited.

      • ‘There's going to be a wide variety of exhibits on show for the house, home and garden.’
      • ‘Take this rare occasion as an opportunity to see their latest work on show locally.’
      • ‘Two years ago a giant teddy bear was swiped from its window display, just half an hour after being put on show.’
      • ‘A wide range of new merchandise will also be on show and available to buy, in time for Christmas.’
      • ‘Items on show yesterday ranged from furniture and oil paintings to African masks and statues.’
      • ‘Buses from the museum will also be on show at the Bradford heritage open day on September 10.’
      • ‘There is a wide variety of paintings and handcrafted items on show to suit every pocket.’
      • ‘At the start of 2002 the plans for the transformation went on show to the public.’
      • ‘It reopened in May with twice as much display space and now many of the works are on show for the first time.’
      • ‘Each child had a sheet to fill in with questions connected with time and numbers and based on the exhibits on show.’
      • ‘Many of the artworks on show were given to the city on this understanding.’
      • ‘Hundreds of the exhibits which will be on show have never been seen publicly before.’
      on display, on exhibition, on show
      View synonyms
  • show one's cards

  • show cause

    • Produce satisfactory grounds for application of (or exemption from) a procedure or penalty.

      • ‘He said when soldiers were found to be involved with illegal drugs they would normally be issued a notice to show cause as to why they should not be discharged.’
      • ‘1 am giving you 28 days notice to show cause why you should not be expelled.’
      • ‘The court gave the students until March 24 to show cause why the order should not be made final.’
      • ‘On 3 June 1999 the Board wrote to Mr and Mrs Mann requiring them to show cause within 14 days why their legal aid certificates should not be revoked.’
      • ‘The draft order nisi that has been filed specifies five grounds on which the respondents are to be called on to show cause.’
      • ‘In January 1994 the auditor published his provisional findings and the notices to show cause why the ten persons should not be surcharged.’
      • ‘The show cause notice asks why the directors should not be removed, since the bank's financial position has deteriorated and non-performing assets have mounted.’
  • show someone the door

    • Dismiss or eject someone from a place.

      • ‘With teeth bared, he orders me off the premises, insisting, as he shows me the door, that he is not in any way being hostile.’
      • ‘The men, either out of resentment or a sense of propriety, were outraged and showed him the door.’
      • ‘One minute Dan was in there, the next he was shown the door.’
      • ‘On Tuesday, the chief executive was shown the door.’
      • ‘Popular but underachieving players were shown the door.’
      • ‘Desperate and confused, he is shown the door by his ex-wife.’
      • ‘They took one look at me and showed me the door.’
      • ‘Griffiths said: ‘The backbone of any army is its non-commissioned officers and it has always struck me as strange that they are shown the door at 40 when many would want to keep going.’’
      • ‘So if squatters happen to move in before he can resell his investment, he simply shows them the door with a baseball bat.’
      • ‘He said: ‘His entire annuity went in one day, his wife of 20 years showed him the door, it broke down his marriage, many of his so-called friends and hangers-on deserted him and he is now living in rented accommodation.’’
      drive out, expel, force out, throw out, remove, remove from office, remove from power, eject, get rid of, depose, topple, unseat, overthrow, bring down, overturn, put out, drum out, thrust out, push out, turn out, purge, evict, dispossess, dismiss, dislodge, displace, supplant, disinherit, show someone the door
      View synonyms
  • show one's face

    • Appear in public.

      ‘she had been up in court and was so ashamed she could hardly show her face’
      • ‘What kind of guy kidnaps someone with witnesses around and then shows his face in a public store in broad daylight?’
      • ‘Now of course I'm a little scared about showing my face in that part of town in case we were caught on some security camera.’
      • ‘She was followed closely behind by a doting Rocky, who it seemed had actually combed his hair before showing his face in public.’
      • ‘Rose was unable to show her face in public for two weeks.’
      • ‘If this is true, please don't ever show your face in public again.’
      • ‘I will never be able to show my face in public again.’
      • ‘‘I'd love to go with you,’ he continued, ‘but I don't dare show my face in public.’’
      • ‘I'd like to know if I can at least show my face in a public place, if I can lead something approaching a normal life.’
      • ‘Society would chastise him and he would never be able to show his face in public again.’
      • ‘He was asked about it every time he showed his face in public.’
  • show the flag

    • (of a naval vessel) make an official visit to a foreign port, especially as a show of strength.

      • ‘In those years, ships of all navies happily visited Indian ports, and Indian ships showed the flag in other ports of the world.’
      • ‘In the future the Navy, in keeping with objectives set before it, will be more active in showing the flag and protecting Russian interests in politically, strategically and operationally important regions of the World Ocean.’
      • ‘Following a season in Europe, she crossed the Atlantic to New York and other East Coast ports to show the flag.’
      • ‘The navy provided coastal defense and ‘showed the flag ‘in areas such as the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific.’
      • ‘This would hamper diplomatic efforts, reduce the U.S. Navy's ability to show the flag, and complicate logistics and supply for forward-deployed forces.’
      • ‘The SA Navy paid a visit to the city to show the flag.’
      • ‘One of the traditional diplomatic and political functions of the U.S. Navy is to represent and promote American imperial power by showing presence, going ashore, showing the flag.’
      • ‘Deterrence, a centerpiece of Cold War diplomacy, encompasses maintaining credible forces and showing the flag at appropriate locations to deter an enemy's aggression.’
      • ‘Normally, the United States uses only one or at the most two carrier strike groups to show the flag in a trouble spot.’
  • show one's hand

    • 1(in a card game) reveal one's cards.

      • ‘If you have a king in your original hand and don't like your cards you can show your hand to the other player, discard all 5 cards, and pick a new hand of 5 cards from the top of the stock.’
      • ‘Once you have a straight of seven cards, you may show your hand face up on the table and say ‘Scatterbrain’.’
      • ‘If requested by an opponent, you must show your hand to prove that you had only wild cards.’
      • ‘The loser showed his hand; all he had were two cards that matched.’
      • ‘Like a player who ‘folds’ at real poker, he is not required to show his hand.’
      • ‘You may continue betting, and if you convince all the other players to fold, you win the pot without having to show your hand.’
      1. 1.1Disclose one's plans.
        ‘he needed hard evidence, and to get it he would have to show his hand’
        • ‘And when they came out, the judge basically showed his hand and said that he plans to keep these things sealed.’
        • ‘This meeting is the first chance for the Union's boss to show his hand and difficult decisions will need to be made.’
        • ‘They were thought unlikely to show their hand until the details of the redundancy package were fully sorted by the group.’
        • ‘Most of our European Union friends are already happily trading in euros and it will soon be time for the Chancellor to show his hand on when the referendum will take place.’
        • ‘I'm probably showing my hand too much, as I'm likely to review the film and should be more objective, but I'm looking forward to loving that movie.’
        • ‘But rivals are not expected to show their hand until the autumn.’
        • ‘Be careful to show your hand only to those who need to know what you're up to.’
        • ‘Gary Johnson showed his hand: he wanted to legalize heroin, cocaine, and marijuana.’
        • ‘‘We don't want to show our hand,’ he said on Tuesday.’
        • ‘After weeks of speculation, Rangers finally showed their hand when they faxed a formal offer to Rovers yesterday afternoon.’
  • show of force

    • A demonstration of the forces at one's command and of one's readiness to use them.

      • ‘They were deployed more as a show of force than as force aiming to achieve concrete results on the ground.’
      • ‘US forces have begun using massive firepower in a show of force aimed at intimidating resistance.’
      • ‘A bomber can be recalled, rerouted in flight, used as a show of force, or used in a non-nuclear conflict.’
      • ‘Units also conducted reconnaissance patrols and security operations in full view of the local population as a show of force.’
      • ‘U.S. soldiers and marines made a show of force in and around the area.’
      • ‘On August 1, in an unmistakable show of force, the Chinese military held its first ever parade of troops and armoured vehicles through Hong Kong.’
      • ‘And U.S. troops put on a show of force in areas still loyal to the former dictator.’
      • ‘During the U.S. intervention in Grenada, the military put on a major show of force in Central America.’
      • ‘Police are mounting a show of force in Brixton, London, after a demonstration on Friday ended in a riot.’
      • ‘U.S. fighter jets thundered through the skies over the city throughout the morning in a show of force against the militants.’
  • show of hands

    • The raising of hands among a group of people to indicate a vote for or against something, with numbers typically being estimated rather than counted.

      • ‘There was no show of hands for or against the proposals.’
      • ‘A union motion calling for the policy to be scrapped was clearly carried on a show of hands.’
      • ‘Each meeting ended with a vote by a show of hands.’
      • ‘In a show of hands, the majority of residents at the meeting indicated they were not in favour of a northern route.’
      • ‘After a while, they switched to voting by a show of hands.’
      • ‘By a show of hands, who here honestly believes that it will be finished in March?’
      • ‘All other resolutions were approved overwhelmingly on a show of hands.’
      • ‘To cheers in the hall it was carried on a show of hands.’
      • ‘The show of hands will be followed by a poll, where this is required or appropriate.’
      • ‘The proposals were strongly endorsed in a show of hands shortly before midnight, following a four-hour meeting of the pilots at Dublin Airport.’
      • ‘The vote was done by written ballot because some felt it would be intimidating to do it by a show of hands, with people looking to see who voted in what way.’
  • show the way

    • 1Indicate the direction to be followed to a particular place.

      • ‘‘It will have a map specific to that area, showing the way to the nearest public toilet,’ she says.’
      • ‘They are accompanied by a dumb person who carries their belongings and a guide who shows the way.’
      1. 1.1Indicate what can or should be done by doing it first.
        ‘Morgan showed the way by becoming Deputy Governor of Jamaica’
        • ‘He shows the way to healthier eating habits by a slight modification of the traditional Indian diet.’
        • ‘Social housing is showing the way, with projects exceeding current building regulations in terms of sustainability.’
        • ‘The work of pioneers like Dr Stephen Scott and Dr Carole Sutton shows the way ahead.’
        • ‘He showed the way out of our despair and gave us the emotional armour to get up every day and get on with our lives.’
        • ‘The government of Uganda once again shows the way forward in the fight against AIDS.’
        • ‘By bringing together some of the most influential people in the sector to discuss these issues, Scotland is showing the way forward.’
        • ‘Waitakere City shows the way to a ‘greener life’ by introducing eco-friendly initiatives throughout the region.’
        • ‘They should be showing the way with a fortnight in Clacton-on-Sea instead of clocking up the air miles on the unforgivable, a twin-destination break in the Caribbean and Tuscany.’
        • ‘China is showing the way by taking all the tough decisions that an overpopulated nation has to make when it has an underdeveloped economy.’
        • ‘A captain who leads by example is showing the way by backing the right men.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • show something forth

    • Exhibit.

      ‘the heavens show forth the glory of God’
      • ‘Therefore teach sobriety to all and show it forth in your own lives.’
      • ‘She was that love and showed it forth in all that she did.’
      • ‘He was a man of convictions and had the strength of character to show them forth in his life.’
      • ‘Parents may say that we believe in certain values and virtues, but fail to show them forth in our lives.’
      • ‘As we gain the full consciousness of our true identity, we show it forth in a greater sense of harmony, health, and success, and one by one we attract others who are seeking the same way.’
  • show off

    • Make a deliberate or pretentious display of one's abilities or accomplishments.

      • ‘She's worried about making friends and constantly makes up stories about herself and shows off to get attention.’
      • ‘Sometimes I'd tease my older students about having boyfriends, or get the younger boys to behave by telling them that they should stop showing off to impress their girlfriends, and quickly everyone would fall in line.’
      behave affectedly, put on airs, put on an act, give oneself airs, boast, brag, crow, trumpet, gloat, glory, swagger around, swank, bluster, strut, strike an attitude, strike a pose, posture, attitudinize
      draw attention to oneself, blow one's own trumpet
      cop an attitude
      skite, big-note oneself
      View synonyms
  • show someone/something off

    • Display or cause others to take notice of someone or something that is a source of pride.

      ‘his jeans were tight-fitting, showing off his compact figure’
      • ‘With all the excitable glee of a slightly gawky teenager, she waves the bouquet above her head, showing it off to the rest of us like a trophy, the years visibly slipping away.’
      • ‘If everything went according to plan, I'd be showing him off to all my college friends in Boston.’
      • ‘They took the triplets into school and Megan enjoyed showing them off to her pals.’
      • ‘Whoever has taken it may be showing it off as a kind of trophy.’
      • ‘In what is essentially a string of anecdotes and one-liners, Waterhouse shows off his knowledge of Soho history and myth.’
      • ‘A display rack shows off plates and teapots to advantage.’
      • ‘Later, on the front porch, he shows off his skills at stabbing a pumpkin.’
      • ‘‘I'm beginning to feel like a monument,’ she says as yet another guide shows her off to a group of rather bemused Japanese tourists.’
      • ‘Look after your mobile phone by keeping it out of sight and don't wander down the street showing it off.’
      • ‘Make sure it's clear that you're showing your bra off, rather than accidentally allowing an underwear item to show through.’
      • ‘At the end of the week the children will show off their new skills with a display of their work.’
      • ‘For the first time ever I have a flat tummy - and I can't stop showing it off.’
      • ‘He tries to share with her all his achievements and shows off his accomplishments and acquisitions.’
      • ‘We'll find out on July 12 when my daughter shows off her skills on national television.’
      • ‘Afterwards everyone shows off their bruises like trophies.’
      • ‘I felt like showing my money off, spending it on things that would prove to others how rich and strong I am.’
      • ‘It also shows off the considerable dramatic abilities of the National's principal dancers.’
      • ‘Teresa, another resident, readily recounts her experience of childhood sexual abuse, and shows off her new hairstyle.’
      • ‘But now it's the pride of our collection at Wythenshawe Hall and we look forward to showing it off when the hall re-opens to the public next Easter.’
      • ‘Why not show it off to a wider audience and take pride in our achievements.’
      display, show to advantage, exhibit, demonstrate
      parade, make a show of, draw attention to, flaunt, wave, dangle, brandish, vaunt
      View synonyms
  • show out

    • Reveal that one has no cards of a particular suit.

      • ‘‘East showed out,’ Louie grumbled, ‘so I started the diamonds.’’
      • ‘She won the first two diamonds, pitching two hearts, drew four rounds of trumps - showing out herself on the second round - and set about the completely impossible task of taking 4 club tricks.’
  • show someone around

    • Act as a guide for someone to points of interest in a place or building.

      • ‘My daughters will be happy to show you round after breakfast.’
      • ‘His son shows us round the estate, where 30,000 bottles of Chateaux de Salles are produced each year using time-honoured methods.’
      • ‘I was keen to have a look but she was curiously unwilling to show me round.’
      • ‘She asked me to show her around town. So I did.’
      • ‘We're pictured here with Fred, who kindly showed us round and introduced us to everyone.’
      • ‘With an infectious exuberance the two members of staff showed us round, and I learned a great deal from the visit.’
      • ‘The member of staff showing you round should show an interest in what you want for your child.’
      • ‘I had a very long interview before I was shown round.’
      • ‘I should offer a word of thanks to one of the teachers, who was kind enough to open up the old school house and show me around.’
      • ‘He introduces Dorian, his American wife of 23 years, and shows us round the grounds, pointing out the house recently vacated by long-suffering neighbours.’
      • ‘He became wistful and in a surge of nostalgia offered to show me round.’
      • ‘Council staff are concerned that they are losing prospective bookings because there is no one in residence at the front of the building to meet prospective clients and show them round.’
      • ‘Now I help other pupils who are new; I show them round and help get them used to everything.’
      • ‘Naturally I had to show them around.’
  • show through

    • (of one's real feelings) be revealed inadvertently.

      • ‘Leftists everywhere always claim to be on the side of ‘the little guy’ but every so often their real contempt for the little guy shows through.’
      • ‘Tiga's innate passion for music shows through on this mix, which avoids obvious selections and instead concentrates on building atmosphere and energy over its 70 minutes.’
      • ‘Mr McDonald added: ‘The quality and commitment of our staff shows through.’’
      • ‘She's been entertaining me all day, albeit with a streak of anger showing through here or there.’
      • ‘His interest in history shows through in a lot of his writing.’
      • ‘Alan, your bias and your prejudice show through, and you're letting them affect your professional opinion.’
      • ‘The determination of these people shows through despite the emotional turmoil to which the government is subjecting them.’
      • ‘‘Brother Linus has a great feel for the parish and the people of the parish and that shows through in the book,’ the bishop added.’
      • ‘You have a deep, artistic, and creative side which shows through, a love for music and literature.’
      • ‘Perhaps it's my depression showing through, thus reinforcing my depression in a vicious cycle.’
  • show up

    • 1Be conspicuous or clearly visible.

      • ‘We were asked to supply and fit markings for a fleet of vans which the client wanted to show up in the dark for various reasons.’
      • ‘Two other items that had not shown up from a distance were visible, an old comb and a cassette tape.’
      • ‘‘Traditional colours such as navy blue, dark grey or black remain popular, because dirt shows up more clearly on lighter-coloured school bags,’ he observes.’
      • ‘Maybe you've put lights on your bike or you wear clothes that show up in the dark?’
      • ‘He figured the sadness from his own heart would be showing up clearly in his own face.’
      • ‘They are a light beige and the dirt shows up very clearly.’
      • ‘Next to lakes and rivers, railways also showed up clearly; so did large roads.’
      • ‘The mounds at Heath Wood were highly visible, showing up black against the surrounding red-coloured soils.’
    • 2Arrive or turn up for an appointment or gathering.

      • ‘Jon's sister, who happens to be a labor and delivery nurse at another hospital, shows up.’
      • ‘She hits on a solution when Jane shows up at work distraught, followed soon by a concerned Vin.’
      • ‘He waits in a Montreal bar for a meeting with a Russian cosmonaut and painter, who never shows up.’
      • ‘The guy who sits next to you shows up late, and he doesn't even get a verbal warning.’
      • ‘His work there is done, he says, but he still shows up to use the desk and phone.’
      • ‘I think of the U.S. law that says a hospital has to treat anyone who shows up on its doorstep.’
      • ‘That night, the boy shows up at the girl's parents' house and meets his girlfriend at the door.’
      • ‘As Martin suspected, once word gets around a huge turnout shows up for the new play.’
      • ‘Sometimes you show up for an appointment and they've forgotten, or don't have the time.’
      • ‘He shows up for work, sits in his trailer until he's called, does his bit and goes home.’
  • show someone/something up

    • 1Make someone or something conspicuous or clearly visible.

      ‘a rising moon showed up the wild seascape’
      • ‘The dry patches are shown up by the dye.’
      • ‘The procedure involves putting a tube into the heart via an artery in the arm or leg, and injecting a liquid into the coronary arteries which shows them up when viewed with X-rays.’
      • ‘These can be shown up by light microscopy, sometimes with appropriate use of polarized light.’
      • ‘So obviously they need a bit of shade to show them up to best advantage.’
      • ‘I've processed the scan in a slightly different way to show them up, but you can see that apart from the corners, the evenness is not too bad.’
      1. 1.1Expose someone or something as being bad or faulty in some way.
        ‘it's a pity they haven't showed up the authorities for what they are’
        • ‘They are so pathetic that it would be easy to show them up for the liars they are.’
        • ‘We have to take them on on the ground, and show them up for who they really are and what they - really - stand for.’
        • ‘All this shows him up for what he is, a particularly vicious form of life that preys on others not to survive but in order to prosper.’
        • ‘It has made me dig out my old diary from 1985-6 which is full of embarrassing, poorly crafted rubbish and shows me up to be the young idiot that I suspected I must have been.’
        • ‘Your endorsement of this article shows you up for what everyone knows you to truly be.’
        • ‘That he now breaches my privacy by apparently accessing my social welfare records is unethical, illegal, and shows him up for what he is.’
        • ‘It also, more disturbingly, shows us up as a people who are appallingly irresponsible, callous and who have devalued and degraded human life.’
        • ‘They might get the feeling that you've shown them up as fools.’
        • ‘Writing off communism as a fad for silly kids is just as bad as showing it up as a serious menace.’
        • ‘They looked fine to the untrained eye, but closer examination showed them up to be fairly sloppy.’
        expose, reveal, bring to light, lay bare, make visible, make obvious, manifest, highlight, pinpoint, put the spotlight on
        View synonyms
      2. 1.2informal Embarrass or humiliate someone.
        ‘she says I showed her up in front of her friends’
        • ‘But rather than showing them up, he has actually drawn something quite impressive from them.’
        • ‘But the people here think they're just trying to show us up.’
        • ‘Robert wants to become a professor (an exalted position in Britain), so does not want a pushy young intern showing him up.’
        • ‘Are they afraid that their little cousins will show them up?’
        • ‘He always went out of his way to show her up or embarrass her.’
        • ‘Today she was determined to show me up by scrubbing her decorative concrete paving with a brush and some ‘Mr Propre’ cleaning liquid (her son works in Brussels).’
        • ‘They were always going out with the lads and showing him up.’
        • ‘I'm not saying he didn't spot me through the window, but the fact remains that he was outside for a good hour and I recently showed him up at his club by turning up in a bad tie, crumpled chinos and with holes in the soles of my shoes.’
        humiliate, humble, mortify, bring down, take down, bring low, demean, expose, show in a bad light, shame, put to shame, discomfit, disgrace, discredit, downgrade, debase, degrade, devalue, dishonour, embarrass
        View synonyms


Old English scēawian look at, inspect from a West Germanic base meaning look; related to Dutch schouwen and German schauen.