Definition of show verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ʃəʊ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃoʊ//
    The form showed is rare as a past participle.Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they show
    BrE BrE//ʃəʊ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃoʊ//
    he / she / it shows
    BrE BrE//ʃəʊz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃoʊz//
    past simple showed
    BrE BrE//ʃəʊd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃoʊd//
    past participle shown
    BrE BrE//ʃəʊn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃoʊn//
    past participle showed
    BrE BrE//ʃəʊd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃoʊd//
    -ing form showing
    BrE BrE//ˈʃəʊɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈʃoʊɪŋ//
    Producing TV shows
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    make clear
  1. 1  [transitive] to make something clear; to prove something show (that)… The figures clearly show that her claims are false. The government'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 transport 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 transport use. From the data in the above graph, it is apparent that buses are the most widely used form of public transport.
  2. let somebody see something
  3. 2  [transitive] to let somebody 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 somebody 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 somebody 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 somebody 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. Synonymstakelead escort drive show walk guide usher directThese words all mean to go with somebody from one place to another.take to go with somebody from one place to another, for example in order to show them something or to show them the way to a place:It’s too far to walk—I’ll take you by car.lead to go with or go in front of somebody 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 somebody in order to protect or guard them or to show them the way:The president arrived, escorted by twelve bodyguards.drive to take somebody somewhere in a car, taxi, etc:My mother drove us to the airport.show to take somebody 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 somebody 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 somebody the way to a place, often by going with them; to show somebody a place that you know well:She guided us through the busy streets. We were guided around the museums.usher (rather formal) to politely take or show somebody where they should go, especially within a building:She ushered her guests to their seats.direct (rather formal) to tell or show somebody 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 somebody around/​round to take/​lead/​escort/​drive/​walk somebody home to take/​lead/​escort/​guide somebody to safety to lead/​show the way
  10. quality/behaviour/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 towards somebody 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 nearly 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 woollen hat and scarf on that left only her eyes and nose showing. show something Their new white carpet 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 accounts show a loss.
  18. of picture/photograph
  19. 11  [transitive] show something | show somebody/something (as something) | show somebody/something doing something to be of somebody/something; to represent somebody/something She had 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 at all major movie theaters. show something The movie is being shown now. She plans to show her paintings early next year. See related entries: Producing TV shows
  22. prove
  23. 13[transitive, no passive] (informal) to prove that you can do something or are something show somebody (something) They think I can't do it, but I'll show them! show yourself to be/have something He has shown himself to be a caring father.
  24. arrive
  25. 14[intransitive] (informal, especially North American English) to arrive where you have arranged to meet somebody 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 More Like This Verbs with two objects bet, bring, build, buy, cost, get, give, leave, lend, make, offer, owe, pass, pay, play, post, promise, read, refuse, sell, send, show, sing, take, teach, tell, throw, wish, writeSee worksheet.
  28. Word OriginOld English scēawian ‘look at, inspect’, from a West Germanic base meaning ‘look’; related to Dutch schouwen and German schauen.Extra examples I’m giving him a chance to show what he can do. It’s such a tiny mark, it hardly shows. Lee was happy to show her how it should be done. Let me show you on the map. Lewis refused to show any emotion. She showed her new toy to her friends. Third quarter figures are likely to show a further fall in figures. ‘There’s a Mr Smith here to see you.’ ‘Show him in.’ A white carpet will show every mark. Come out and show yourselves! Could you show this gentleman the way to the conference hall, please? Don’t worry—the marks won’t show. He wore a mask that showed only his eyes. His hands were clenched, the whites of the knuckles showing. His shirt tail was showing from under his jersey. I waited till ten o’clock but she didn’t show. I want a dress that won’t show too much of my arms. If there’s a letter from France please show it to me. Let me show you exactly what this will mean. Light was showing under the door. Only about 20 people showed. She had a warm woollen hat on that left only her eyes and nose showing. She showed great courage in the face of danger. The cloth was folded so that the stain didn’t show. The film is now showing at all major cinemas. The government’s popularity is declining rapidly, as the opinion polls show. The picture shows St George slaying the dragon. They have published a report showing the company’s current situation. They think I can’t do it, but I’ll show them! They’ll need someone to show them the way. What if nobody shows?Idioms 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.
    used to say that something proves something It just goes to show what you can do when you really try. to ask somebody to leave, because they are no longer welcome to appear among your friends or in public She stayed at home, afraid to show her face.
    show your hand/cards (North American English also tip your hand)
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    to make your plans or intentions known
    show somebody/know/learn the ropes
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    (informal) to show somebody/know/learn how a particular job should be done
    to do something first so that other people can follow
    show somebody who’s boss
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    to make it clear to somebody that you have more power and authority than they have
    (British English) to show that you are ready to help, work hard, etc. if necessary
    (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 offshow off somebodyshow somethingoffshow somebody roundshow throughshow upshow upshow somebodyup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: show