Remember show and tell? To show something is to display something, to share it, or to put on a little show about it.

Show is a word with many meanings, but they're closely related. There are TV and radio shows, and a play is also a show. In those cases, shows are types of entertainment. You can also say, "Let me show you something." You can show by pointing at something, but showing can also mean proving something. A lawyer needs to show why his client is innocent. People who can't stop showing things are called show-offs.

Primary Meanings of show

make visible or noticeable
something intended to communicate a particular impression
establish the validity of something, as by an example, explanation or experiment
take (someone) to their seats, as in theaters or auditoriums
finish third or better in a horse or dog race
Full Definitions of show

v make visible or noticeable

“She showed her talent for cooking”
Show me your etchings, please”
conceal, hide
prevent from being seen or discovered
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present to view
show an image of
cause to appear
project on a screen
do justice
bring out fully or to advantage
expose or show briefly
project onto a screen for viewing
display, exhibit, expose
to show, make visible or apparent
display in the air or cause to float
bring out, reveal, uncover, unveil
make visible
demo, demonstrate, exhibit, present
give an exhibition of to an interested audience
cause to stand out or be clearly defined or visible
define, delineate
show the form or outline of
bring home
make understandable and clear
disclose, expose
disclose to view as by removing a cover
project on a background, such as a screen, like a silhouette
display the contents of a file or start an application as on a computer
bring forth, produce
bring out for display
hold up
hold up something as an example; hold up one's achievements for admiration
exhibit on a bench
expose one's buttocks to
flash, flaunt, ostentate, show off, swank
display proudly; act ostentatiously or pretentiously
exhibit aggressively
display (clothes) as a mannequin
model, pose, posture, sit
assume a posture as for artistic purposes
excavate, unearth
recover through digging
trot out
bring out and show for inspection and admiration
open to the view
gibbet, pillory
expose to ridicule or public scorn

v give expression to

“She showed her disappointment”
evince, express
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express through a scornful smile
connote, imply
express or state indirectly
burst out
give sudden release to an expression
evoke, paint a picture, suggest
call to mind
suggest as a logically necessary consequence; in logic
manifest or show
make apparent by one's mood or behavior
give vent, vent, ventilate
give expression or utterance to
articulate, formulate, give voice, phrase, word
put into words or an expression
accent, accentuate, emphasise, emphasize, punctuate, stress
to stress, single out as important
express a threat either by an utterance or a gesture
express with a beaming face or smile
express with a smile
background, downplay, play down
understate the importance or quality of
bring out, set off
direct attention to, as if by means of contrast
presuppose, suppose
require as a necessary antecedent or precondition
direct or put; seek an answer to
re-emphasise, re-emphasize
emphasize anew
bear down
pay special attention to
rip out
burst out with a violent or profane utterance
intimate, suggest
imply as a possibility
connote, predicate
involve as a necessary condition of consequence; as in logic
lexicalise, lexicalize
make or coin into a word or accept a new word into the lexicon of a language
dogmatise, dogmatize
state as a dogma
formularise, formularize
express as a formula
cast, couch, frame, put, redact
formulate in a particular style or language
emphasize by putting heavy stress on or by moving to the front of the sentence
point up
emphasize, especially by identification
drive home, press home, ram home
make clear by special emphasis and try to convince somebody of something
emphasise, emphasize, underline, underscore
give extra weight to (a communication)
reek, smack, smell
have an element suggestive (of something)
imply, incriminate, inculpate
suggest that someone is guilty
Type of:
make known; pass on, of information

v be or become visible or noticeable

“His good upbringing really shows
“The dirty side will show
show up
show in one's face
Type of:
come into sight or view

v show in, or as in, a picture

depict, picture, render
depict with an illustration
depict as if on a map
Type of:
interpret, represent
create an image or likeness of

v give an exhibition of to an interested audience

“She shows her dogs frequently”
demo, demonstrate, exhibit, present
bring home
make understandable and clear

v indicate a place, direction, person, or thing; either spatially or figuratively

“I showed the customer the glove section”
designate, indicate, point
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indicate the presence of (game) by standing and pointing with the muzzle
indicate the fingering for the playing of musical scores for keyboard instruments
call attention, point out, signalise, signalize
point out carefully and clearly
manifest or bring back
Type of:
impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to

v indicate a certain reading; of gauges and instruments

“The thermometer showed thirteen degrees below zero”
read, record, register
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indicate (a certain time) by striking
establish or verify the usage of
show an omission in (an account) for which credit ought to have been given
Type of:
to state or express briefly

n something intended to communicate a particular impression

“a show of impatience”
“a good show of looking interested”
big stick
a display of force or power
gaudery, pomp
cheap or pretentious or vain display
Type of:
demo, demonstration
a visual presentation showing how something works

n the act of publicly exhibiting or entertaining

“a remarkable show of skill”
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carnival, fair, funfair
a traveling show; having sideshows and rides and games of skill etc.
dog show
a competitive exhibition of dogs
a competitive exhibition of horses
a street show
a performance given by a traveling company of acrobats, clowns, and trained animals
cabaret, floor show, floorshow
a series of acts at a night club
ice show
any entertainment performed by ice skaters
entr'acte, interlude, intermezzo
a brief show (music or dance etc) inserted between the sections of a longer performance
display, exhibit, showing
something shown to the public
demonstration, presentation, presentment
a show or display; the act of presenting something to sight or view
a show of military force or preparedness
road show
a show on tour
a minor show that is part of a larger one (as at the circus)
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Wild West Show
a spectacular show organized in 1883 by William F. Cody that featured horseback riding and marksmanship on a large scale; toured the United States and Europe
three-ring circus
a circus with simultaneous performances in three rings
a visible display
light show
a display of colored lights moving in shifting patterns
the act of exhibiting
presentation to view in an open or public manner
the act of presenting a play or a piece of music or other entertainment
lecture demonstration
presentation of an example of what the lecturer is discoursing about
a demonstration held in opposition to another demonstration
Type of:
amusement, entertainment
an activity that is diverting and that holds the attention

n a social event involving a public performance or entertainment

“they wanted to see some of the shows on Broadway”
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choreography, stage dancing
a show involving artistic dancing
film, flick, motion picture, motion-picture show, movie, moving picture, moving-picture show, pic, picture, picture show
a form of entertainment that enacts a story by sound and a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement
an entertainment that is offered to the public
broadcast, program, programme
a radio or television show
performance, public presentation
a dramatic or musical entertainment
a theatrical entertainment of broad and earthy humor; consists of comic skits and short turns (and sometimes striptease)
a theatrical performance of a drama
galanty show, shadow play, shadow show
a drama executed by throwing shadows on a wall
puppet play, puppet show
a show in which the actors are puppets
variety, variety show
a show consisting of a series of short unrelated performances
ballet, concert dance
a theatrical representation of a story that is performed to music by trained dancers
modern dance
a style of theatrical dancing that is not as restricted as classical ballet; movements are expressive of feelings
apache dance
a violent fast dance in French vaudeville (an apache is a member of the French underworld)
belly dance, belly dancing, danse du ventre
a Middle Eastern dance in which the dancer makes sensuous movements of the hips and abdomen
a Spanish dance in triple time accompanied by guitar and castanets
a strutting dance based on a march; was performed in minstrel shows; originated as a competition among Black dancers to win a cake
a high-kicking dance of French origin performed by a female chorus line
nude dancing
erotic dancing with little or no clothing
a movie that is made to be shown on television
feature, feature film
the principal (full-length) film in a program at a movie theater
final cut
the final edited version of a movie as approved by the director and producer
travelog, travelogue
a film or illustrated lecture on traveling
home movie
a film made at home by an amateur photographer
a rival attraction
collage film
a movie that juxtaposes different kinds of footage
coming attraction
a movie that is advertised to draw customers
a movie featuring shooting and violence
short subject
a brief film; often shown prior to showing the feature
docudrama, documentary, documentary film, infotainment
a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event
cinema verite
a movie that shows ordinary people in actual activities without being controlled by a director
film noir
a movie that is marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, menace, and cynical characters
skin flick
a pornographic movie
rough cut
the first print of a movie after preliminary editing
silent movie, silent picture, silents
a movie without a soundtrack
slow motion
a movie that apparently takes place at a slower than normal speed; achieved by taking the film at a faster rate
talkie, talking picture
a movie with synchronized speech and singing
3-D, 3D, three-D
a movie with images having three dimensional form or appearance
news, news program, news show
a program devoted to current events, often using interviews and commentary
a program that is broadcast again
chat show, talk show
a program during which well-known people discuss a topic or answer questions telephoned in by the audience
TV program, TV show, television program, television show
a program broadcast by television
game show, giveaway
a television or radio program in which contestants compete for awards
serial, series
a serialized set of programs
episode, installment, instalment
a part of a broadcast serial
sustaining program
a program without a commercial sponsor
act, bit, number, routine, turn
a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program
a performance to raise money for a charitable cause
a performance of music by players or singers not involving theatrical staging
performance by or technique of a pianist
play reading
performance of a play by a group of readers
the first public performance of a play or movie
performance of music or dance especially by soloists
rendering, rendition
a performance of a musical composition or a dramatic role etc.
song and dance
theatrical performance combining singing and dancing
histrionics, representation, theatrical, theatrical performance
a performance of a play
a lavishly produced performance
world premiere
(music) the first public performance (as of a dramatic or musical work) anywhere in the world
musical, musical comedy, musical theater
a play or film whose action and dialogue is interspersed with singing and dancing
curtain raiser
a short play presented before the main play
minstrel show
a variety show in which the performers are made up in blackface
review, revue
a variety show with topical sketches and songs and dancing and comedians
music hall, vaudeville
a variety show with songs and comic acts etc.
Type of:
social event
an event characteristic of persons forming groups

n pretending that something is the case in order to make a good impression

“that ceremony is just for show
Type of:
feigning, pretence, pretending, pretense, simulation
the act of giving a false appearance

v establish the validity of something, as by an example, explanation or experiment

“The mathematician showed the validity of the conjecture”
demonstrate, establish, prove, shew
confute, disprove
prove to be false
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prove oneself
show one's ability or courage
prove formally; demonstrate by a mathematical, formal proof
contradict, negate
prove negative; show to be false
prove to be of unsound mind or demonstrate someone's incompetence
invalidate, nullify
show to be invalid
confute, disprove
prove to be false
Type of:
affirm, confirm, corroborate, substantiate, support, sustain
establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts

v give evidence of, as of records

“The diary shows his distress that evening”
establish or verify the usage of
show an omission in (an account) for which credit ought to have been given
Type of:
read, record, register
indicate a certain reading; of gauges and instruments

v provide evidence for

“The blood test showed that he was the father”
bear witness, evidence, prove, testify
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attest, certify, demonstrate, evidence, manifest
provide evidence for; stand as proof of; show by one's behavior, attitude, or external attributes
constitute reasonable evidence for
abduce, adduce, cite
advance evidence for
establish the authenticity of something
give evidence of the quality of
give evidence of a certain behavior
notarise, notarize
authenticate as a notary
demonstrate the guilt of (someone)
Type of:
impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to

v take (someone) to their seats, as in theaters or auditoriums

“The usher showed us to our seats”
lead ceremoniously, as in a procession
Type of:
conduct, direct, guide, lead, take
take somebody somewhere

v finish third or better in a horse or dog race

“he bet $2 on number six to show
Type of:
race, run
compete in a race

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