have something, nothing, little, etc. to show for something

have (something) to show for (something)

To have something one can display or point to as the result of one's work, effort, expenditure, etc. I gave up my career in advertising to become a writer, and I have only one thing to show for it: a stack of books no one wants to buy. We've been working on this project for months, and we still have nothing to show for our effort.
See also: have, show

have something, nothing, little, etc. to ˈshow for something

have or produce something, etc. as a result of your efforts, work, etc: Students who fail the final exam have nothing to show for years of hard work.
See also: have, show, something
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