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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.

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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 show

    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


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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