(especially in a totalitarian state) the public trial of a political offender conducted chiefly for propagandistic purposes, as to suppress further dissent against the government by making an example of the accused.
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Origin of show trial
First recorded in 1945–50
Words nearby show trial
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for show trial
a trial conducted primarily to make a particular impression on the public or on other nations, esp one that demonstrates the power of the state over the individual
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012