Ask Difference

Show Definition and Meaning

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 6, 2024
Show means to display or present something visually, or to demonstrate or prove something. e.g., The artist will show her new paintings at the gallery.

Show Definitions

To indicate or display information:
The gauge shows that the tank is full.
To be visible or become apparent:
The scars showed more clearly in the light.
To give a performance or entertainment:
The band will show at the local club this weekend.
To demonstrate or illustrate a method or process:
The chef showed how to prepare the dish.
To broadcast or screen, as in movies or TV:
The network will show the movie premiere tonight.
To prove or establish evidence of something:
The research shows a significant correlation between the variables.
To guide or escort someone:
The host showed us to our seats.
To exhibit or present in a public setting:
The museum is showing a new collection of artifacts.
To display or make visible:
He showed his ticket to the usher.
To reveal or express emotions or qualities:
She showed great courage during the rescue.
To cause or allow to be seen; display
Showed us his tattoo.
To display for sale, in exhibition, or in competition
Showed her most recent paintings.
To permit access to (a house, for example) when offering for sale or rent.
To conduct; guide
Showed them to the table.
To direct one's attention to; point out
Showed them the city's historical sites.
To make evident or reveal (an emotion or condition, for example)
Showed displeasure at his remark.
A carpet that shows wear.
To reveal (oneself) as in one's behavior or condition
The old boat showed itself to be seaworthy.
To indicate; register
The altimeter showed that the plane was descending.
To demonstrate by reasoning or procedure
Showed that the hypothesis was wrong.
A film that showed how to tune a piano.
To demonstrate to by reasoning or procedure; inform or prove to
Showed him how to fix the camera.
Showed her that it could really happen.
To grant; bestow
Showed no mercy to the traitors.
To be or become visible or evident
Concern showed in his face.
(Slang) To make an appearance; show up
Didn't show for her appointment.
To be exhibited publicly
What's showing at the movie theater tonight?.
To give a performance or present an exhibition
Which artist is showing in the gallery?.
(Sports) To finish third or better in a horserace or dog race.
A display; a manifestation
Made a show of strength.
A trace or indication, as of oil in a well.
The discharge of bloody mucus from the vagina indicating the start of labor.
The first discharge of blood in menstruation.
A false appearance; a pretense
Only a show of kindness.
A striking appearance or display; a spectacle.
A pompous or ostentatious display.
Display or outward appearance
This antique tea service is just for show. His smile was for show.
A public exhibition or entertainment.
An exposition for the display or demonstration of commercial products
An auto show.
A usually competitive exhibition of domestic animals
Won first place at the cat show.
A radio or television program.
A movie.
A theatrical troupe or company.
(Informal) An affair or undertaking
Ran the whole show.
(Sports) Third place at the finish, as in a horserace.
(transitive) To display, to have somebody see (something).
The car's dull finish showed years of neglect.
All he had to show for four years of attendance at college was a framed piece of paper.
(transitive) To bestow; to confer.
(transitive) To indicate (a fact) to be true; to demonstrate.
(transitive) To guide or escort.
Could you please show him on his way. He has overstayed his welcome.
They showed us in.
(intransitive) To be visible; to be seen; to appear.
Your bald patch is starting to show.
At length, his gloom showed.
To put in an appearance; show up.
We waited for an hour, but they never showed.
To have an enlarged belly and thus be recognizable as pregnant.
To finish third, especially of horses or dogs.
In the third race: Aces Up won, paying eight dollars; Blarney Stone placed, paying three dollars; and Cinnamon showed, paying five dollars.
To reveal one's hand of cards.
(obsolete) To have a certain appearance, such as well or ill, fit or unfit; to become or suit; to appear.
(countable) A play, dance, or other entertainment.
There were a thousand people at the show.
(countable) An exhibition of items.
Art show;
Dog show
(countable) A broadcast program, especially a light entertainment program.
Radio show;
Television show
They performed in the show.
I spotted my neighbour on the morning TV show.
(countable) A movie.
Let's catch a show.
An agricultural show.
I'm taking the kids to the show on Tuesday.
A project or presentation.
Let's get on with the show.
Let's get this show on the road.
They went on an international road show to sell the shares to investors.
It was Apple's usual dog and pony show.
(countable) A demonstration.
Show of force
(uncountable) Mere display or pomp with no substance. (Usually seen in the phrases "all show" and "for show".)
The dog sounds ferocious but it's all show.
Outward appearance; wileful or deceptive appearance.
The major leagues.
He played AA ball for years, but never made it to the show.
A pale blue flame at the top of a candle flame, indicating the presence of firedamp.
(archaic) Pretence.
(archaic) Sign, token, or indication.
(obsolete) Semblance; likeness; appearance.
(obsolete) Plausibility.
(medicine) A discharge, from the vagina, of mucus streaked with blood, occurring a short time before labor.
A battle; local conflict.
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.
Nor want we skill or art from whence to raiseMagnificence; and what can heaven show more?
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.
If it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away.
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.
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.
To bestow; to confer; to afford; as, to show favor.
Shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me.
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.
All round a hedge upshoots, and showsAt distance like a little wood.
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.
The act of showing, or bringing to view; exposure to sight; exhibition.
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.
Proud or ostentatious display; parade; pomp.
I envy none their pageantry and show.
Semblance; likeness; appearance.
He through the midst unmarked,In show plebeian angel militantOf lowest order, passed.
False semblance; deceitful appearance; pretense.
Beware of the scribes, . . . which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers.
A discharge, from the vagina, of mucus streaked with blood, occuring a short time before labor.
A pale blue flame, at the top of a candle flame, indicating the presence of fire damp.
A public exhibition of entertainment;
A remarkable show of skill
Something intended to communicate a particular impression;
Made a display of strength
A show of impatience
A good show of looking interested
A public exhibition or entertainment;
They wanted to see some of the shows on Broadway
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
Show or demonstrate something to an interested audience;
She shows her dogs frequently
We will demo the new software in Washington
Establish the validity of something, as by an example, explanation or experiment;
The experiment demonstrated the instability of the compound
The mathematician showed the validity of the conjecture
Provide evidence for;
The blood test showed that he was the father
Her behavior testified to her incompetence
Make visible or noticeable;
She showed her talent for cooking
Show me your etchings, please
Show in, or as in, a picture;
This scene depicts country life
The face of the child is rendered with much tenderness in this painting
Give expression to;
She showed her disappointment
Indicate a place, direction, person, or thing; either spatially or figuratively;
I showed the customer the glove section
He pointed to the empty parking space
He indicated his opponents
Make clear and visible;
The article revealed the policies of the government
Be or become visible or noticeable;
His good upbringing really shows
The dirty side will show
Indicate a certain reading; of gauges and instruments;
The thermometer showed thirteen degrees below zero
The gauge read `empty'
Give evidence of, as of records;
The diary shows his distress that evening
Show (someone) to their seats, as in theaters or auditoriums;
The usher showed us to our seats
Finish third or better in a horse or dog race;
He bet $2 on number six to show

Show Snonyms


To publicly display (a work of art or item of interest) in an art gallery or museum or at a trade fair.
They plan to exhibit new paintings at the gallery.


To clearly show the existence or truth of (something) by giving proof or evidence.
The experiment demonstrated the instability of the compound.


To show or represent by drawing, painting, or other art form.
The painting depicts a beautiful landscape.


To bring, offer, or give something to someone.
She presented her findings at the conference.


To make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others.
He revealed the secret to his friend.


To explain or make (something) clear by using examples, charts, pictures, etc.
The lecturer illustrated his point with diagrams.


To transmit (a program or some information) by radio or television.
The event was broadcast live on TV.


To have as a prominent attribute or aspect.
The documentary features stories from survivors.


To make a prominent exhibition of something in a place where it can be easily seen.
The museum displays artifacts from ancient times.


To display or show (a quality or feeling) by one's acts or appearance; to demonstrate.
He manifested signs of anxiety.

Show Idioms & Phrases

Show of hands

A vote or opinion expressed by raising hands.
Let's have a show of hands to decide the issue.

Show the ropes

To explain to someone how to do a task.
The mentor showed the new employee the ropes.

Show one's true colors

To reveal one's real character or intentions.
Under pressure, he showed his true colors.

Show someone the door

To ask someone to leave.
After the argument, she showed him the door.

Show one's cards

To reveal one's plans or intentions.
It's too early in the negotiation to show our cards.

Run the show

To be in charge or control of a situation.
It's clear who runs the show in their household.

Show up

To arrive or appear somewhere.
Half the guests didn't show up to the party.

Show face

To make an appearance.
He made sure to show face at the office party.

Steal the show

To attract the most attention and praise.
The lead actress stole the show with her performance.

Show one's hand

Similar to showing one's cards, revealing one's strategy.
He showed his hand too soon in the discussions.

Show one's age

To look as old as one is or older.
The building is starting to show its age.

Show one's teeth

To become aggressive or threatening.
When challenged, he showed his teeth.

Show no mercy

To be very strict or harsh.
The judge showed no mercy during sentencing.

Put on a show

To make a conspicuous display or performance.
They put on a show of unity despite their differences.

For show

Something done for appearance or effect rather than substance.
The elaborate display was all for show.

Show and tell

A classroom activity where students present an item and talk about it.
Tomorrow is show and tell, so bring something interesting.

Show a clean pair of heels

To run away or escape.
Seeing the police, the thief showed a clean pair of heels.

Show the way

To lead or guide by example.
The pioneer showed the way for future explorers.

Show the flag

To display a sign of one's allegiance or presence.
The company shows the flag at all major industry events.

Not for show

Something that is genuine or real.
Her kindness is not for show; it's truly who she is.

Show Example Sentences

Can you show me the way to the library?
The test results show a high level of cholesterol.
The report shows an increase in sales this quarter.
The map shows the location of all the landmarks.
The brochure shows the different packages available.
The garden show displayed a variety of exotic flowers.

Common Curiosities

How do we divide show into syllables?

Show is a single syllable word and is not divided.

Why is it called show?

It's called show from the Old English 'sceawian', meaning to look at, inspect, or observe, reflecting the act of presenting or displaying something.

How is show used in a sentence?

Show is used to describe the act of displaying, demonstrating, or presenting, e.g., Can you show me how to use this software?

How many syllables are in show?

There is one syllable in show.

What is a stressed syllable in show?

Since show is a single syllable word, the entire word is stressed.

What is the first form of show?

The first form of show is show (base form).

What part of speech is show?

Show is a verb.

What is another term for show?

Another term for show is exhibit.

What is the pronunciation of show?

Show is pronounced as /ʃoʊ/.

What is the singular form of show?

Show does not have a singular or plural form; it remains the same as it is a verb.

What is the verb form of show?

Show is itself a verb in its base form.

What is the plural form of show?

Show does not have a plural form as it is a verb.

Is show an abstract noun?

As a noun, show can refer to concrete displays or performances, so it is not typically abstract.

Is show a negative or positive word?

Show is generally neutral but can have positive or negative connotations depending on the context.

Is show a collective noun?

No, show is not typically used as a collective noun.

Is the word show Gerund?

The gerund form of show is showing.

Which vowel is used before show?

The vowel "o" is used in the word show, but if referring to articles, "a" is used, as in "a show."

What is the root word of show?

The root word of show is from the Old English 'sceawian', which means to look at or observe.

What is the second form of show?

The second form of show is showed (past simple).

What is the third form of show?

The third form of show is shown or showed (past participle).

Is show an adverb?

No, show is not an adverb.

Is show a vowel or consonant?

The word show starts with a consonant.

Is show a noun or adjective?

Show is primarily a verb, but it can also be a noun referring to a display or performance.

Is the show term a metaphor?

Show can be used metaphorically in contexts where displaying or revealing is not literal, such as "showing one's true colors."

Is the word show imperative?

Show can be used in the imperative mood when giving commands or requests, e.g., "Show me the document."

Which conjunction is used with show?

Conjunctions like "and," "but," or "or" can be used with show to connect clauses, e.g., "show and tell," "show but don't reveal," or "show or hide."

Which article is used with show?

The articles "a" or "the" can be used with show when it functions as a noun, e.g., "a show at the theater" or "the show starts at 8 PM."

What is the opposite of show?

The opposite of show could be hide or conceal.

Is show a countable noun?

Yes, when show is used as a noun referring to an event or display, it is countable.

Is the word “show” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

Show can involve a direct object (what is being shown) and an indirect object (to whom it is being shown), e.g., "Show me (indirect object) the picture (direct object)."

Which determiner is used with show?

Determiners such as "the," "a," or possessive pronouns can be used with show when it is a noun, e.g., "the show was entertaining."

Which preposition is used with show?

Prepositions like "to," "at," or "on" can be used with show depending on the context, e.g., "show to the audience," "show at the gallery," or "show on TV."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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