show up

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show up

  1. (intransitive) To appear, arrive, or attend, especially suddenly or erratically.
    Please come on time; don't just show up whenever you feel like it.
    No matter how many I throw away, more copies always show up.
  2. (transitive, idiomatic) To outperform or one-up, often in an arrogant manner.
    I finished in five minutes and she showed me up by finishing in three.
    • 2014, Daniel Taylor, "World Cup 2014: Uruguay sink England as Suárez makes his mark,", 20 June:
      His team were not outclassed but, once again, England have reminded us of their habit of being shown up as soon as they face half-decent opposition and one or two authentic category-A footballers.
  3. (transitive) To make visible; to expose.
    I bet the Jayhawk fast break could show up the Nimrod's lack of speed.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (outperform or one-up): The object is normally a person rather than a thing and may appear before or after up. However, if the object is a pronoun, then it comes before up.
  • (make visible): The object normally comes after up, even when it is a pronoun.


Related terms[edit]


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