Definition of show tune in US English:

show tune


  • A song from a musical that has become popular in its own right.

    • ‘My mother was constantly singing, humming, making us listen to show tunes and standards from the 30's and 40's.’
    • ‘He still occasionally writes songs for friends and special occasions and plays old American show-tunes for his own amusement.’
    • ‘We sat in hard chairs, mostly waiting, forced to listen to show tunes, for nearly three hours.’
    • ‘I miss hearing him sing off key to obscure broadway show tunes.’
    • ‘A heavy US influence pervaded, with square dancing going on outside in the break and big band music and American show tunes interspersed with Marine Corps marches.’
    • ‘The work exhibits an eclectic mastery of all styles, from show tunes to gangsta to jazz to soul to funk to pop.’
    • ‘They were seated in the empty downstairs bar, away from the piano and the sing-along show tunes.’
    • ‘It wasn't a classical piece or a Broadway show tune.’
    • ‘Many Cabaret shows of famous show tunes make us tired of the old classics.’
    • ‘Their idea of music is disco, techno, and show tunes.’
    • ‘They're small town girls performing showtunes at an airport lounge in the mid West.’
    • ‘This addiction did not prevent these talented jazz musicians from producing beautifully imaginative and melodic reinventions of popular show tunes and jazz standards.’
    • ‘We could exact revenge, destroy, damage, sing show tunes and kill without feeling personally responsible.’
    • ‘A musical magpie of a record, it steals cheekily from everything from dancehall and reggae to two-step, pop, showtunes, electro, film soundtracks and beyond.’
    • ‘The choir will be performing a range of different musical styles from show tunes and pop songs to church music.’
    • ‘I grew up on show tunes.’
    • ‘This time he will be backed up by a posse of local musicians as he belts out the show tunes.’
    • ‘Their repertoire covers everything from grand opera to show tunes and folk songs.’
    • ‘Not content with that, Malkmus will often tack on a coda that draws on ragtime, rap and showtunes in equal measure.’
    • ‘Later, as a teenager, I took voice lessons and spent afterschool hours sitting at the piano, singing show tunes and arias to an empty house.’