American English

Definition of show verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they show
    he / she / it shows
    past simple showed
    past participle shown
    past participle showed
    -ing form showing
    jump to other results
    make clear
  1. 1[transitive] to make something clear; to prove something show (that)… The figures clearly show that her claims are false. The governor's popularity is declining rapidly, as the opinion polls show. show somebody that… Market research has shown us that people want quality, not just low prices. show something a report showing the company's current situation show somebody/something to be/have something His new book shows him to be a first-rate storyteller. show (somebody) how, what, etc… This shows how people are influenced by TV advertisements. Language Bankillustratereferring to a chart, graph, or table This bar chart illustrates how many journeys people made on public transportation over a three-month period. This table compares bus, train, and taxi use between April and June. The results are shown in the chart below. In this pie chart, the survey results are broken down by age. This pie chart breaks down the survey results by age. As can be seen from these results, younger people use buses more than older people. According to these figures, bus travel accounts for 60% of public transportation use. From the data in the above graph, it is apparent that buses are the most widely used form of public transportation.
  2. let someone see something
  3. 2[transitive] to let someone see something show something You have to show your ticket as you go in. show something to somebody If there's a letter from France please show it to me. Have you shown your work to anyone? show somebody something Have you shown anyone your work?
  4. teach
  5. 3[transitive] to help someone to do something by letting them watch you do it or by explaining it show something to somebody She showed the technique to her students. show somebody something She showed her students the technique. Can you show me how to do it?
  6. point
  7. 4[transitive] show somebody something to point to something so that someone can see where or what it is He showed me our location on the map. show somebody which, what, etc… Show me which picture you drew.
  8. guide
  9. 5[transitive] to lead or guide someone to a place show somebody + adv./prep. The attendant showed us to our seats. We were shown into the waiting room. show somebody something I'll go first and show you the way. Thesaurustakelead escort drive show walk guide usher directThese words all mean to go with someone from one place to another.take to go with someone from one place to another, for example in order to show them something or to show them the way to a place:I'll take you to the party tomorrow.lead to go with or go in front of someone in order to show them the way or to make them go in the right direction:Firefighters led the survivors to safety.escort to go with someone in order to protect or guard them or to show them the way:The president was escorted by twelve to take someone somewhere in a car, taxi, etc:My mother drove us to the to take someone to a particular place, in the right direction, or along the correct route:The attendant showed us to our seats.walk to go somewhere with someone on foot, especially in order to make sure that they get there safely; to take an animal, especially a dog, for a walk or make an animal walk somewhere:He always walked her home. Have you walked the dog yet today?guide to show someone the way to a place, often by going with them; to show someone a place that you know well:She guided us through the busy streets. We were guided around the museums.usher (somewhat formal) to politely take or show someone where you want them to be, especially within a building:She ushered her guests to their (somewhat formal) to tell or show someone how to get somewhere or where to go:A young woman directed them to the station.Patterns to take/lead/escort/drive/show/walk/guide/usher/direct somebody to/out of/into something to take/lead/escort/drive/show/walk/guide/usher somebody around to take/lead/escort/drive/walk somebody home to take/lead/escort/guide/usher somebody to safety to lead/show the way
  10. quality/behavior/feeling
  11. 6[transitive] to make it clear that you have a particular quality show something to show great courage show yourself + adj. She had shown herself unable to deal with money. show yourself to be/have something He has shown himself to be ready to make compromises. show that… He has shown that he is ready to make compromises.
  12. 7[transitive] to behave in a particular way toward someone show something (for/to somebody) They showed no respect for their parents. show somebody something They showed their parents no respect.
  13. 8[intransitive, transitive] if a feeling or quality shows, or if you show it, people can see it Fear showed in his eyes. She tried not to let her disappointment show. She's almost forty now.And it shows (= it's obvious). show something Her expression showed her disappointment. James began to show signs of impatience. show how, what, etc… She tried not to show how disappointed she was.
  14. be visible
  15. 9[intransitive, transitive] if something shows, people can see it. If something shows a mark, dirt, etc., the mark can be seen She had a warm woolen hat on that left only her eyes and nose showing. show something Their new white carpeting showed every mark.
  16. information
  17. 10[transitive] (not usually used in the progressive tenses) show something to give particular information, or a time or measurement The map shows the principal towns and rivers. The clock showed midnight. The end-of-year statement shows a loss.
  18. of picture/photograph
  19. 11[transitive] show something show somebody/something (as something) show somebody/something doing something to be of someone or something; to represent someone or something She objected to a photo showing her in a bikini.
  20. for public to see
  21. 12[intransitive, transitive] to be or make something available for the public to see The movie is now showing in all major cities. show something The movie is being shown now. She plans to show her paintings early next year.
  22. prove
  23. 13[transitive, no passive] show somebody (something) (informal) to prove that you can do something or are something They think I can't do it, but I'll show them!
  24. arrive
  25. 14[intransitive] (informal) to arrive where you have arranged to meet someone or do something I waited an hour but he didn't show. see also show up
  26. animal
  27. 15[transitive] show something to enter an animal in a competition
  28. Idioms
    fly/show/wave the flag
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    to show your support for your country, an organization, or an idea to encourage or persuade others to do the same
    go through your paces, show your paces
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    to perform a particular activity in order to show other people what you are capable of doing We watched the horses going through their paces. The British team showed its paces during a training session in the hotel pool.
    it goes to show
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    used to say that something proves something It just goes to show what you can do when you really try.
    show somebody the door
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    to ask someone to leave, because they are no longer welcome
    show your face
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    to appear among your friends or in public She stayed at home, afraid to show her face.
    show your hand/cards (also tip your hand)
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    to make your plans or intentions known
    show somebody/know/learn the ropes (informal)
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    to show someone/know/learn how a particular job should be done
    show the way
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    to do something first so that other people can follow
    show somebody who's boss
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    to make it clear to someone that you have more power and authority than they have
    (have) something, nothing, etc. to show for something
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    (to have) something, nothing, etc. as a result of something All those years of hard work, and nothing to show for it!
    Phrasal Verbsshow somebody around (something)show offshow somebody/somethingoffshow throughshow upshow upshow somebodyup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: show