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Related to shown: shown off
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be shown the ropes
To be taught how to do or perform a job, task, or activity; to have explained or demonstrated how something is done. I had never worked on a ranch before, but I was shown the ropes by a friend of mine. This is Samantha, our new intern. Make sure she's shown the ropes by the end of the week.
in a bad light
Negatively; under unfavorable circumstances. (Typically used with the verbs "see" or "show," or some similar variation.) I'm flattered that he based a character in his novel on me, but I think I was shown in a bad light. The once-beloved mayor has been seen in a bad light ever since news of his tax-evasion scandal came to public attention.
show the flag
To stand up for, support, or defend someone or something. A number of people from the actor's hometown are arriving into New York to show the flag at his debut performance on Broadway. My country is often a target for insults or gibes abroad, so whenever I go traveling I make a point of showing the flag for it.
show the way
To guide someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "show" and "the." I've never been here before, so you need to show me the way. Your leadership has always shown the way for our company.
1. To be apparent, visible, or detected. Please fill in your exam with blue or black ink—pencil will not show up correctly when we scan the papers. The photo was a bit overexposed, so we don't really show up in it very well. I'm curious whether my scar tissue will show up in this scan.
2. To appear or arrive. Tom showed up at my door with flowers to apologize for his rude remarks. The villain is foreshadowed early on, but he doesn't show up until the very end of the book.
3. By extension, to make an admirable effort. The notion is of one making an appearance as their best self (or their usual self, if a previous effort had been not up to standard). Way to show up, Dan. I'm really proud of the effort you put in this semester. The team has really shown up in this second half, coming back from a huge deficit.
4. To outperform or outclass someone; to make someone look unskilled or inadequate by comparison with one's effort or talent. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "show" and "up." I was quite proud of my performance, but the next act came out and completely showed me up. Tom is forever trying to show up the professor by pointing out flaws in his lectures.
show (a lot) of bottle
To act in an impudent or daring manner. Wow, that intern sure showed a lot of bottle when she asked for a raise on her first day!
show signs of (something)
To exhibit characteristics or traits indicative or suggestive of something. The economy has shown signs of decline in the last couple of months. The patient is showing all the usual signs of infection, except that there is no fever whatsoever.
show the white feather
old-fashioned To act like or appear to be a coward; to exhibit cowardly traits or behavior. A white feather on a gamecock's tail was once considered a sign of impure breeding For all his blustery talk, the senator would showed the white feather when it actually came time to stand up against the president on the issue. He lost the respect of his community for showing the white feather when the police came through asking questions.
To be or become visible, noticeable, or apparent through something else. I think your shirt is too small—look, your belly is showing through! His intentions seem honorable enough, but ask him about how much money stands to be made and his real motivation starts to show through.
show someone up
to make someone's faults or shortcomings apparent. John is always trying to show someone up to make himself look better. John's excellent effort really showed up Bill, who didn't try very hard at all.
to appear; to arrive. Where is John? I hope he shows up soon. When will the bus show up? Weeds began to show up in the garden.
show the way
Guide, as in This division has shown the way to bigger profits. This expression transfers the physical sense of guiding one in a particular direction. [Early 1500s] Also see lead the way.
show the white feather
Display cowardice, as in The minute Bob put up his fists, Bill showed the white feather and backed down. This expression comes from cockfighting, where a white feather in a bird's tail is considered a sign of inferior breeding. [Early 1800s]
1. Be clearly visible, as in The print doesn't show up against this dark background. [Late 1800s]
2. Put in an appearance, arrive, as in I wonder if he'll show up at all. [Late 1800s]
3. Expose or reveal the true character of, as in This failure showed up their efforts as a waste of time. [Early 1800s]
4. Also, show someone up. Surpass someone in ability, outdo someone, as in John's high score on that math test really showed up the rest of the class. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
show the flag(of a naval vessel) make an official visit to a foreign port, especially as a show of strength.
show the white featherappear cowardly. British dated
A white feather in a game bird's tail was considered to be an indication of bad breeding.
show the ˈwaydo something first so that other people can follow: The future lies in changing the way we do business, and this Internet company is showing the way.
To be visible or evident through something: Her slip shows through her dress. Your arrogance shows through despite your attempts to be friendly.
1. To be clearly visible: Will the blue pencil marks show up in the photocopy?
2. To make an appearance; arrive: Everyone was waiting for the bride to show up.
3. To expose or reveal the true character or nature of someone or something: The other group's success showed up their efforts as a waste of time. I showed the challenger up as a braggart.
4. To surpass someone or something, as in ability or intelligence: The students were always trying to show up the teacher with a fact she didn't know. After his performance, a virtuoso came out on stage and showed him up.
show the white feather
To act like a coward.