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English definition of “show”

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verb uk   /ʃəʊ/ us    /ʃoʊ/ (showed, shown)

show verb (MAKE SEEN)

A1 [T] to make it possible for something to be seen: [+ two objects] I must show you this new book I've just bought. On this map, urban areas are shown in grey. You ought to show that rash to your doctor. [+ obj + question word ] Why won't you show me what you've got in your hand? [+ obj + -ing verb ] The secretly filmed video shows the prince and princess kissing. These photographs show the effects of the chemical on the trees. He began to show signs of recovery. "I've got a Victorian gold coin here." "Have you? Show me (= allow me to see it)."
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show verb (RECORD)

B1 [T] to record or express a number or measurement: The right-hand dial shows the temperature, and the left-hand one shows the air pressure. The company showed a loss of $2 million last year. The latest crime figures show a sharp rise in burglaries.
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show verb (EXPLAIN)

B1 [T] to explain something to someone, by doing it or by giving instructions or examples: [+ question word] Can you show me how to set the DVD player? This dictionary contains many examples that show how words are actually used. Could you show me the way to the bus station?
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show verb (PROVE)

B2 [T] to prove something or make the truth or existence of something known: She has shown herself (to be) a highly competent manager. His diaries show him to have been an extremely insecure person. [+ (that)] The diaries show (that) he was very insecure. Show me (that) I can trust you. [+ question word] Our research has shown (us) how little we know about this disease.
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show verb (EXPRESS)

B2 [T] to express ideas or feelings using actions or words: He finds it difficult to show affection. She showed enormous courage when she rescued him from the fire. [+ two objects] You should show your parents more respect/show more respect to your parents.
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show verb (NOTICEABLE)

C1 [I] to be easy to see or notice: "Oh no, I've spilled red wine on my jacket!" "Don't worry, it doesn't show." Whatever she's thinking, she never lets it show. I've painted over the graffiti twice, but it still shows through. The drug does not show up in blood tests because it is effective in very small quantities. When we moved in, the house hadn't been decorated for 20 years, and it showed.
See also
show your age to look as old as you really are: Recently, he's really starting to show his age.
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show verb (PUBLIC EVENT)

[T] to make an artist's work available for the public to see: Our aim is to make it easier for young unknown artists to show their work. [I or T] If a cinema or television station shows a film or programme, or if a film or programme is showing somewhere, you can see it there: It's the first time this movie has been shown on television. Now showing at a cinema near you!

show verb (ARRIVE)

[I] mainly US to show up

show verb (LEAD)

[T usually + adv/prep] to take someone somewhere by going there with them: Could you show Dr Sanchez into the living room? The waiter showed us to our table.

show verb (FAIL TO HIDE)

[T] to fail to hide something, or to make it possible to see or know something that is not intended to be seen or known: Your shirt's so thin that it shows your bra. Light-coloured carpets show the dirt. [+ question word] His failure in the exams shows (up) just how bad his teachers are.


[T + obj + question word ] to make someone understand something by directing their attention to it: Can you show me where it hurts? Show me which one you want.


noun uk   /ʃəʊ/ us    /ʃoʊ/


A2 [C] a theatre performance or a television or radio programme that is entertaining rather than serious: a radio/television/stage show a quiz/game show Why don't we go to London on Saturday and see a show? We had to raise £60,000 to stage the show. We had a puppet show for Jamie's birthday party.
See also
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show noun (PUBLIC EVENT)

B2 [C] an event at which a group of related things are available for the public to look at: a fashion/flower show There were some amazing new cars at the motor show. They put on a retrospective show of his work at the National Museum of American Art. on show C1 Something that is on show has been made available for the public to look at: Her sculptures will be on show at the museum until the end of the month.
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show noun (EXPRESSION)

[C] an action that makes other people know what your feelings, beliefs, or qualities are: In an unexpected show of solidarity, the management and workers have joined forces to campaign against the closure of the factory. Over 100 military vehicles paraded through the capital in a show of strength.a good, poor, etc. show an activity or piece of work that appears to be done with great, little, etc. effort: She may not have won, but she certainly put up a good show.


[C] an appearance of something that is not really sincere or real: Despite its public show of unity, the royal family had its share of disagreements just like any other. They put on a show of being interested, but I don't think they really were.for show Something that is for show has no practical value and is used only to improve the appearance of something else: Do the lights on this phone have any useful function or are they just/only for show?

show noun (ACTIVITY)

[U] informal an activity, business, or organization, considered in relation to who is managing it: Who will run the show when Meg retires? The wedding is their show - let them do it their way.

show noun (blood)

[C] specialized medical a small amount of blood and mucus (= thick liquid) that comes out of the vagina at the start of labour (= the process of giving birth): the bloody show
(Definition of show from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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