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From Middle English revelen (to reveal), from Middle French reveler, from Old French, from Latin revelare (to reveal, uncover), from re- (back, again) + velare (to cover), from velum (veil).


  • IPA(key): /ɹəˈviːl/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːl
  • Hyphenation: re‧veal


reveal (plural reveals)

  1. The outer side of a window or door frame; the jamb.
    • 2010, Carter B. Horsley, The Upper East Side Book:
      The building has a one-story rusticated limestone base and a canopied entrance with a doorman beneath an attractive, rusticated limestone window reveal on the second floor and a very impressive and ornate limestone window reveal on the third floor flanked by female figures[1].
  2. (cinematography, comedy) A revelation; an uncovering of what was hidden.
    The comedian had been telling us about his sleep being disturbed by noise. Then came the reveal: he was sleeping on a bed in a department store.
    • 2017 February 23, Katie Rife, “The Girl With All The Gifts tries to put a fresh spin on overripe zombie clichés”, in The Onion AV Club[2]:
      Once you find out what’s going on—the girl is a “hungry,” this film’s term for zombies—it’s still interesting enough, if not quite as powerful. That’s basically what you’re in for with this British postapocalyptic survival horror tale, which starts off strong but dilutes its impact with every consecutive reveal.
  3. (chiefly Britain, Australia, New Zealand, obsolete in the US) The side of an opening for a window, doorway, or the like, between the door frame or window frame and the outer surface of the wall; or, where the opening is not filled with a door, etc., the whole thickness of the wall; the jamb.


  • 2001, Nicholas Proferes, Film Directing Fundamentals [3]
    The reveal is a narrative/dramatic element so pervasive that its power can be underestimated by the beginning filmmaker because, in a sense, each shot reveals something.
  • 2002, Blain Brown, Cinematography [4]
    A simple dolly or crane move can be used for an effective reveal. A subject fills the frame, then with a move, something else is revealed.
  • 2004, Fred Karlin, On the Track [5]
    Look for the reveal of the ghosts hanging in the school hallway (00:57:27); [...]


  • (side of a window or door opening): revel
  • (side of a window or door opening): jamb


reveal (third-person singular simple present reveals, present participle revealing, simple past and past participle revealed)

  1. (transitive) To uncover; to show and display that which was hidden.
    • c. 1625, Edmund Waller, Of the Danger His Majesty (being Prince) Escaped in the Road at St Andero
      Light was the wound, the prince's care unknown, / She might not, would not, yet reveal her own.
    • 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, “Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 18:
      The dispatches revealed details of corruption and kleptocracy that many Tunisians suspected, but could not prove, and would cite as they took to the streets.
  2. (transitive) To communicate that which could not be known or discovered without divine or supernatural instruction.


Derived termsEdit