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

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 How to pronounce displaceable (audio) \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Still, the clear signs of interbreeding and apparent past willingness to live together may indicate that the modern humans absorbed earlier populations rather than completely displacing them. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "DNA shows girl had one Neanderthal, one Denisovan parent," 22 Aug. 2018 All told, 30 families - including 45 children -- were displaced by the fire. Leila Atassi, cleveland.com, "Families sleeping on the floor weeks after devastating Garden Valley fire, need your help: A Greater Cleveland," 13 Apr. 2018 Her first solo project as a royal was releasing Together: Our Community Cookbook, which highlighted recipes from women who were displaced by the Grenfell Tower fire. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Writes Heartwarming Notes to Women on Bananas," 1 Feb. 2019 But in 2017 the city began construction at the viaducts, and homeless residents were once again displaced. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "Housing / Politics Fight for right to camp on city streets will continue despite legal setback, homeless advocates say," 7 June 2018 Three families were displaced following a two-alarm fire Sunday night (May 20) in the city's St. Roch area, New Orleans Fire Department officials said. Jonathan Bullington, NOLA.com, "3 families displaced after 2-alarm fire in St. Roch: NOFD," 21 May 2018 In North Kivu, there’s a long civil conflict, the proximity to numerous international borders — Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan — and a population that’s constantly on the move with 1 million displaced people out of the [6] million residents. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Why the Ebola outbreak in DRC is so difficult to contain," 2 Dec. 2018 As first responders continue to fight the Northern California Camp Fire — the deadliest and most destructive in the state’s history — displaced residents are facing another fight: a virus spreading among shelters. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "A Norovirus Outbreak Spreads Among California Wildfire Shelters," 19 Nov. 2018 Once again, the state of California is being ravaged by a series of wildfires, which have displaced hundreds of thousands of residents and killed 31 people to date, according to CNN. Maggie Mallon, Glamour, "Here's How You Can Help Victims of the California Wildfires," 12 Nov. 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

13 Mar 2019

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
chiefly US : to remove (someone) from a job or position


dis·​place | \ dis-ˈplās How to pronounce displace (audio) \
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 How to pronounce displace (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on displace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with displace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for displace

Spanish Central: Translation of displace

Nglish: Translation of displace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of displace for Arabic Speakers

Comments on displace

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