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show up - definition and synonyms


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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyshow up
he/she/itshows up
present participleshowing up
past tenseshowed up
past participleshown up
  1. 1
    [intransitive] informal same as show1 (sense 10)

    I’ll be very surprised if they show up on time.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] if something shows up, people can see it

    The writing didn’t show up very well on yellow paper.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make it possible to see something

      The white seat covers showed up every speck of dirt.

  3. 3
    [transitive] British to behave in a way that makes someone who you are with feel embarrassed

    You’re always showing me up in front of my friends.

See also main entry: show

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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an electric skateboard

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