dis·place | \(ˌ)dis-ˈplās, di-ˈsplās\

Definition of displace 

transitive verb

1a : 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

2a : to move physically out of position a floating object displaces water

b : to take the place of (as in a chemical reaction) : supplant

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Other Words from displace

displaceable \-ˈplā-sə-bəl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for displace


defrock, depose, deprive, dethrone, oust, uncrown, unmake, unseat, unthrone


crown, enthrone, throne

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Millions in the country are on the brink of famine, more than 2.5 million have fled to neighboring countries and hundreds of thousands are internally displaced, many sheltering in camps administered by the United Nations. New York Times, "U.N. Imposes Arms Embargo on South Sudan as Atrocities Go Unabated," 13 July 2018 Syria's government offensive to retake the province of Daraa from insurgents, which began on June 19, has displaced some 330,000 people, many of them heading to the border with Jordan that refused to allow refugees to cross. The Christian Science Monitor, "Some Syrians return home although risks remain," 9 July 2018 Syria’s government offensive to retake the province of Daraa from insurgents, which began on June 19, has displaced some 330,000 people, many of them heading to the border with Jordan, which refused to allow refugees to cross. BostonGlobe.com, "Thousands who fled recent fighting in Syria return home," 8 July 2018 But the residents of the Brunswick incident were displaced by the blaze, said Chief Roman Clark. Doug Donovan, baltimoresun.com, "Before evening fireworks, Baltimore crews face several fires across the city," 5 July 2018 After four years, displaced workers are still about 6% behind their peers in terms of annual earnings. Andrew Van Dam, latimes.com, "The economy is hot, yet many U.S. workers feel left behind. A new report sheds some light," 5 July 2018 The district's plan to move millions of cubic feet of displaced sand from the 1960s-era mine in the Lake Norris Conservation Area has nearby residents concerned. Jerry Fallstrom, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Lake imposes weight limits on trucks in response to massive sand-removal plan," 12 July 2018 Two dozen residents were displaced Monday morning when a fire ripped through several DeKalb County condos and forced two men to jump from their second-floor window. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "‘We’ve got to get out’: Men jump out window, save neighbors from condo fire," 10 July 2018 Before Atlanta’s 1996 Games, thousands of residents of public housing complexes were displaced when those buildings were demolished to make way for the Olympics. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Will LA’s ‘no-build’ Olympics spur Southern California’s next building boom?," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'displace.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of displace

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for displace

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

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Statistics for displace

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for displace

The first known use of displace was in 1549

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More Definitions for displace



English Language Learners Definition of displace

: to take the job or position of (someone or something)

: to force (people or animals) to leave the area where they live

: to remove (someone) from a job or position


dis·place | \dis-ˈplās \
displaced; displacing

Kids Definition of displace

1 : to remove from the usual or proper place The fire displaced many forest animals.

2 : to take the place of : replace Chess displaced checkers as his favorite game.

3 : to move out of position A floating object displaces water.

Other Words from displace

displacement \-mənt \ noun


transitive verb
dis·place | \(ˈ)dis-ˈplās \
displaced; displacing

Medical Definition of displace 

1a : 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 fibers— R. 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 punish— B. 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

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Comments on displace

What made you want to look up displace? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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