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vorführen

1.
to show, to present, to demonstrate
(The first example that comes to my mind is a person presenting a new tech product, showing all it can do. For theater plays, the verb "spielen" is more common. )
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2.
to lead forward, to lead to the front
(Not common in this sense. "nach vorne führen" is the idiomatic choice here.)
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3.
to make someone look like a fool, to show somebody up
("jemanden vorführen" - The idea is that you create a situation where you "showcase" someone's lack of knowledge or incompetence. )
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Word Family

Root: *per

The core idea of this root was:

going beyond, going forth

And a lot of its children revolve in some way around the idea of travelling or exploring – like for instance the German fahren and führen or the English further.
It’s the origin of Latin prefixes like per-, pro-, pro- and also of the Germanic branch around for(e) and German vor, which are all about either “going forth” or a more abstract notion of going beyond a boundary.

The root is also the origin of German fahren and führen  and the English fare, which all come from a sense of travelling, going into the unknown.

You can get a really good understanding of how the core idea can lead to various meanings by looking at German ver-.

The family is very big, but here’s an incomplete list of English members:

  • pre- (mixed)
  • pro-  (mixed)
  • per- (mixed)
  • para- (beyond)
  • to fare, far (venturing)
  • for (from person A to person B)
  • forward, forth, further (going ahead)
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