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show Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the act of publicly exhibiting or entertaining
    • a remarkable show of skill
  2. noun something intended to communicate a particular impression
    • made a display of strength
    • a show of impatience
    • a good show of looking interested
  3. noun a social event involving a public performance or entertainment
    • they wanted to see some of the shows on Broadway
  4. noun pretending that something is the case in order to make a good impression
    • they try to keep up appearances
    • that ceremony is just for show
  5. verb give an exhibition of to an interested audience
    exhibit; demo; demonstrate; present.
    • She shows her dogs frequently
    • We will demo the new software in Washington
  6. verb establish the validity of something, as by an example, explanation or experiment
    shew; demonstrate; establish; prove.
    • The experiment demonstrated the instability of the compound
    • The mathematician showed the validity of the conjecture
  7. verb provide evidence for
    evidence; testify; bear witness; prove.
    • The blood test showed that he was the father
    • Her behavior testified to her incompetence
  8. verb make visible or noticeable
    • She showed her talent for cooking
    • Show me your etchings, please
  9. verb show in, or as in, a picture
    picture; depict; render.
    • This scene depicts country life
    • the face of the child is rendered with much tenderness in this painting
  10. verb give expression to
    evince; express.
    • She showed her disappointment
  11. verb indicate a place, direction, person, or thing; either spatially or figuratively
    indicate; designate; point.
    • I showed the customer the glove section
    • He pointed to the empty parking space
    • he indicated his opponents
  12. verb be or become visible or noticeable
    show up.
    • His good upbringing really shows
    • The dirty side will show
  13. verb indicate a certain reading; of gauges and instruments
    read; record; register.
    • The thermometer showed thirteen degrees below zero
    • The gauge read `empty'
  14. verb give evidence of, as of records
    • The diary shows his distress that evening
  15. verb take (someone) to their seats, as in theaters or auditoriums
    • The usher showed us to our seats
  16. verb finish third or better in a horse or dog race
    • he bet $2 on number six to show

Show transitive verb
OE. schowen, shewen, schewen, shawen, AS. sceáwian, to look, see, view; akin to OS. scawn, OFries. skawia, D. schouwen, OHG. scouwn, G. schauen, Dan. skue, Sw. skda, Icel. skoa, Goth. usskawjan to waken, skuggwa a mirror, Icel. skuggy shade, shadow, L. cavere to be on one's guard, Gr. to mark, perceive, hear, Skr. kavi wise. Cf. Caution, Scavenger, Sheen.
imperfect Showed ; past participle Shown or Showed; present participle & verbal noun Showing It is sometimes written shew, shewed, shewn, shewing
  1. To exhibit or present to view; to place in sight; to display; -- the thing exhibited being the object, and often with an indirect object denoting the person or thing seeing or beholding; as, to show a house; show your colors; shopkeepers show customers goods (show goods to customers).
    Go thy way, shew thyself to the priest. Matt. viii. 4.
    Nor want we skill or art from whence to raise Magnificence; and what can heaven show more? Milton.
  2. To exhibit to the mental view; to tell; to disclose; to reveal; to make known; as, to show one's designs.
    Shew them the way wherein they must walk. Ex. xviii. 20.
    If it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away. 1 Sam. xx. 13.
  3. Specifically, to make known the way to (a person); hence, to direct; to guide; to asher; to conduct; as, to show a person into a parlor; to show one to the door.
  4. To make apparent or clear, as by evidence, testimony, or reasoning; to prove; to explain; also, to manifest; to evince; as, to show the truth of a statement; to show the causes of an event.
    I 'll show my duty by my timely care. Dryden.
  5. To bestow; to confer; to afford; as, to show favor.
    Shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me. Ex. xx. 6.
Show intransitive verb
Written also shew.
  1. To exhibit or manifest one's self or itself; to appear; to look; to be in appearance; to seem.
    Just such she shows before a rising storm. Dryden.
    All round a hedge upshoots, and shows At distance like a little wood. Tennyson.
  2. To have a certain appearance, as well or ill, fit or unfit; to become or suit; to appear.
    My lord of York, it better showed with you. Shak.
Show noun
Formerly written also shew.
  1. The act of showing, or bringing to view; exposure to sight; exhibition.
  2. That which os shown, or brought to view; that which is arranged to be seen; a spectacle; an exhibition; as, a traveling show; a cattle show.
    As for triumphs, masks, feasts, and such shows. Bacon.
  3. Proud or ostentatious display; parade; pomp.
    I envy none their pageantry and show. Young.
  4. Semblance; likeness; appearance.
    He through the midst unmarked, In show plebeian angel militant Of lowest order, passed. Milton.
  5. False semblance; deceitful appearance; pretense.
    Beware of the scribes, . . . which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers. Luke xx. 46. 47.
  6. (Med.) A discharge, from the vagina, of mucus streaked with blood, occuring a short time before labor.
  7. (Mining) A pale blue flame, at the top of a candle flame, indicating the presence of fire damp. Raymond.

Webster 1913