Done merely for the sake of appearance; not genuine or sincere. Edward always carries a lot of highly literary books around with him, but it's all for show so he can appear smarter to other people. The items in the window are just for show, so I'm afraid I can't sell them to you.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
For the sake of appearances or display. For example, They put on a lavish buffet, mainly for show, or The police pretended to jail the informer, for show. [c. 1700]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
do something/be for ˈshowdo something/be done to attract attention or admiration, and for no other purpose: That expensive computer is just for show; he doesn’t really know how to use it.
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