show the door


show someone the door


  • make it clear that somebody must leave
  • to lead or take someone to the door or exit
  • to make someone leave
  • ask to leave
  • to ask (someone) to go away
  • to request or order someone to leave
  • to dismiss
  • evict someone from a place

Example Sentences

  1. After we finished our talk, he showed me to the door.
  2. I told her that I wasn’t interested in her proposal, and she showed me the door in no uncertain terms.
  3. John was rude to my family and I simply showed him the door.
  4. I was shown the door when I asked for a raise.
  5. She resented his remark and showed him the door.
  6. Ruth was upsetting the other children, so I showed her the door.
  7. Our neighbours invited themselves to the party and stayed until Harry showed them the door.
  8. I told the bank official that I wasn’t interested in her scheme, and she showed me the door.
  9. Chris made the mistake of complaining about the boss and was shown the door.


It was customary in grand houses for household staff (usually the butler) to guide guests unfamiliar with the floor plan to the front door upon their departure. It became a passive-aggressive euphemism for throwing someone out.

The evidence for the origin of the phrase “show someone the door” dates back to the early 18th century, when the phrase began to appear in prints in the early 1700s.

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