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From Middle English revēlen, from Old French reveler, from Latin revēlāre (to reveal, uncover), from re- (back, again) + vēlāre (to cover), from vēlum (veil).



reveal (plural reveals)

  1. The outer side of a window or door frame.
    Synonyms: jamb, revel
    • 2010, Carter B. Horsley, The Upper East Side Book:
      The building has a one-story rusticated limestone base and a canopied entrance with a doorman beneath an attractive, rusticated limestone window reveal on the second floor and a very impressive and ornate limestone window reveal on the third floor flanked by female figures[1].
  2. (cinematography, narratology, comedy, usually informal) A revelation; an uncovering of what was hidden in the scene or story.
    The comedian had been telling us about his sleep being disturbed by noise. Then came the reveal: he was sleeping on a bed in a department store.
    • 2002, Blain Brown, Cinematography[2], →ISBN:
      A simple dolly or crane move can be used for an effective reveal. A subject fills the frame, then with a move, something else is revealed.
    • 2017 February 23, Katie Rife, “The Girl With All The Gifts tries to put a fresh spin on overripe zombie clichés”, in The Onion AV Club[3]:
      Once you find out what’s going on—the girl is a “hungry,” this film’s term for zombies—it’s still interesting enough, if not quite as powerful. That’s basically what you’re in for with this British postapocalyptic survival horror tale, which starts off strong but dilutes its impact with every consecutive reveal.
    • 2019, Douglas Rushkoff, “Survival of the Richest”, in Extinction Rebellion, editor, This Is Not A Drill, London: Penguin, →ISBN:
      Even Westworld—based on a science-fiction novel where robots run amok—ended its second season with the ultimate reveal: human beings are simpler and more predictable than the artificial intelligences we create.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:reveal.

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reveal (third-person singular simple present reveals, present participle revealing, simple past and past participle revealed)

  1. (transitive) To uncover; to show and display that which was hidden.
    Synonyms: uncover, unfold, unveil; see also Thesaurus:reveal
    • c. 1625, Edmund Waller, Of the Danger His Majesty (being Prince) Escaped in the Road at St Andero
      Light was the wound, the prince's care unknown, / She might not, would not, yet reveal her own.
    • 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, “Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, in The Guardian Weekly[4], volume 188, number 26, page 18:
      The dispatches revealed details of corruption and kleptocracy that many Tunisians suspected, but could not prove, and would cite as they took to the streets.
  2. (transitive) To communicate that which could not be known or discovered without divine or supernatural instruction.
    Synonyms: disclose, divulge; see also Thesaurus:divulge

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