Say I'm talking to a friend about a particular sound, then I tell him I will show him what I mean. Is there a way to say show without implying visual demonstration? I guess maybe play? Any other suggestions?

  • What is wrong with show? It has various meanings, including to explain. – Mick Jan 21 '18 at 19:47
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    I suggest 'demonstrate'. It is less limited to the visual than 'show'. – Ross Murray Jan 21 '18 at 19:57
  • The copious list of meanings in the OED oed.com/view/Entry/178737?rskey=JzSPfm&result=3#eid indicates that 'show' is largely visual or a matter of a demonstrated argument. There are obscure meanings relating to heard evidence. There is a lot to plough through to get a definitive answer. – Nigel J Jan 21 '18 at 20:08

Simply, 'play'.


Let me play you this bit of audio


make (a disc, music player, or other device) produce sounds or recorded images.
"someone is playing a record—I can hear the drum"

Source: ODO

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The recent coinage "audate" serves your purpose (we show a marble, we audate a phone), but the coinage hasn't made much headway into the language, and it likely won't. I know of no other English word that precisely corresponds to "show" but in an aural sense. In your post, you used the word "demonstration", and the verb form "demonstrate" doesn't refer specifically to a visual presentation. Thus, we may demonstrate the accepted pronunciation of a word by enunciating that word.

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  • Please support your answer with a dictionary listing showing that this candidate is actually in the lexicon. English language and usage. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 21 '18 at 21:11

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