show up

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  • (file)


show up (third-person singular simple present shows up, present participle showing up, simple past showed up, past participle shown 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.
    • 2021 November 2, Jim Tankersley; Katie Rogers; Lisa Friedman, quoting Joe Biden, “With Methane and Forest Deals, Climate Summit Offers Hope After Gloomy Start”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      “We showed up. We showed up,” Mr. Biden said at a news conference at the United Nations summit on climate change, known as COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland. “The fact that China is trying to assert, understandably, a new role in the world as a world leader, not showing up? Huh. The single most important thing that’s gotten the attention of the world is climate.”
  2. (intransitive) To be easily visible; to be conspicuous.
    Stains really show up on this white tablecloth.
  3. (transitive) To make visible; to expose.
    This bright light shows up the dust in the corners of the room.
    I bet the Jayhawk fast break could show up the Nimrod's lack of speed.
  4. (transitive, idiomatic) To make visible or expose faults and deficiencies in, usually by outdoing, outperforming, or outcompeting another.
    I finished in five minutes and she showed me up by finishing in three.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (expose faults): The object is normally a person rather than a thing.


Related terms[edit]


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