One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Be conspicuous or clearly visible.
- ‘The mounds at Heath Wood were highly visible, showing up black against the surrounding red-coloured soils.’
- ‘Next to lakes and rivers, railways also showed up clearly; so did large roads.’
- ‘Maybe you've put lights on your bike or you wear clothes that show up in the dark?’
- ‘‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
2informal Arrive or turn up for an appointment or gathering.
- ‘She hits on a solution when Jane shows up at work distraught, followed soon by a concerned Vin.’
- ‘Jon's sister, who happens to be a labor and delivery nurse at another hospital, shows up.’
- ‘His work there is done, he says, but he still shows up to use the desk and phone.’
- ‘That night, the boy shows up at the girl's parents' house and meets his girlfriend at the door.’
- ‘The guy who sits next to you shows up late, and he doesn't even get a verbal warning.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘As Martin suspected, once word gets around a huge turnout shows up for the new play.’
- ‘I think of the U.S. law that says a hospital has to treat anyone who shows up on its doorstep.’
- ‘He waits in a Montreal bar for a meeting with a Russian cosmonaut and painter, who never shows up.’
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