displace

verb

dis·​place (ˌ)dis-ˈplās How to pronounce displace (audio)
di-ˈsplās
displaced; displacing; displaces

transitive verb

1
a
: to remove from the usual or proper place
specifically : to expel or force to flee from home or homeland
displaced persons
b
: to remove from an office, status, or job
c
obsolete : to drive out : banish
2
a
: to move physically out of position
a floating object displaces water
b
: to take the place of (as in a chemical reaction) : supplant
displaceable adjective
Choose the Right Synonym for displace

replace, displace, supplant, supersede mean to put out of a usual or proper place or into the place of another.

replace implies a filling of a place once occupied by something lost, destroyed, or no longer usable or adequate.

replaced the broken window

displace implies an ousting or dislodging.

war had displaced thousands

supplant implies either a dispossessing or usurping of another's place, possessions, or privileges or an uprooting of something and its replacement with something else.

was abruptly supplanted in her affections by another

supersede implies replacing a person or thing that has become superannuated, obsolete, or otherwise inferior.

the new edition supersedes all previous ones

Examples of displace in a Sentence

The war has displaced thousands of people. The hurricane displaced most of the town's residents. The closing of the factory has displaced many workers. farming practices that displace large amounts of soil
Recent Examples on the Web According to a July report by Concerned Citizens Collective, a rights group, almost 300,000 street food vendors, cigarette sellers, shoe polishers and others have been displaced from neighborhoods where the visiting diplomats might see them. Mithil Aggarwal, NBC News, 8 Sep. 2023 The winner displaces the old content, which then becomes unconscious. Christof Koch, Scientific American, 8 Sep. 2023 Many families displaced from front line areas have found refuge in Kharkiv, where more than 18 months of war nonetheless have put children under extended duress. Heidi Levine, Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2023 Roughly 3,000 students from the four Lahaina public schools have been displaced in the fires. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 5 Sep. 2023 As Tropical Storm Hilary bore down, torrents of water rushed through Death Valley National Park, forging new gullies, displacing heavy rocks and undercutting roadways, including State Route 190, one of the park’s main thoroughfares. Elvia Limón, Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2023 Experts had warned that the many wildfires scorching large swaths of wildland from coast to coast across Canada will likely displace, injure and kill local wildlife. Nouran Salahieh, CNN, 2 Sep. 2023 Some family members may be displaced and unaware of the need to provide samples. Jenny Jarvie, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Sep. 2023 Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson have announced the establishment of a fund to distribute cash directly to families and individuals who were displaced and affected by the devastating wildfires that hit Maui. Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'displace.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

probably from Middle French desplacer, from des- dis- + place place

First Known Use

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of displace was in 1549

Dictionary Entries Near displace

Cite this Entry

“Displace.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/displace. Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

displace

verb
dis·​place (ˈ)dis-ˈplās How to pronounce displace (audio)
1
: to remove from a usual or proper place
especially : to expel or force to flee from home or homeland
displaced persons
2
a
: to remove physically out of position
water displaced by a floating object
b
: to take the place of : replace
displaceable adjective

Medical Definition

displace

transitive verb
dis·​place (ˈ)dis-ˈplās How to pronounce displace (audio)
displaced; displacing
1
a
: to remove from the usual or proper place
in heterotopia the gray portions of the cord are displaced so that patches of gray matter are scattered among the bundles of white fibersR. L. Cecil et al.
b
: to shift (an emotion or behavior) from a maladaptive or unacceptable object or form of outlet to a more adaptive or acceptable one
displace punishable behavior by directing it towards things that cannot punishB. F. Skinner
2
: to set free from chemical combination by taking the place of
zinc displaces the hydrogen of dilute acids
3
: to subject to percolation

More from Merriam-Webster on displace

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