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

The kitchen was opened after the Grenfell tragedy, offering women who had been displaced and the community around them a space to cook food for their families. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Read Meghan Markle's Emotional Foreword to 'Together: Our Community Cookbook'," 19 Sep. 2018 More than 1,000 people were killed and another 100,000 were displaced in the first week of fighting alone. Jennifer Williams, Vox, "South Sudan’s civil war has raged for 5 years. Now the leaders of the two sides are meeting.," 20 June 2018 Over 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen’s civil war, which has displaced 2 million more and helped spawn a cholera epidemic. Jon Gambrell, USA TODAY, "Saudi-led coalition forces begin assault on key Yemen Red Sea city," 13 June 2018 The unabated violence has claimed more than half a million lives, and displaced millions in and outside Syria. Robert Downen, Houston Chronicle, "Children, 1 and 7, and their grandmother killed in Conroe fire," 9 June 2018 Many sloths are electrocuted by power lines, killed by cars and dogs, and displaced by habitat destruction as seemingly harmless as trimming trees. Kitson Jazynka, National Geographic, "Baby Sloth Reunited With Mom in Moving Video," 24 May 2018 More than two-thirds of Gaza's population of nearly 2 million is descended from refugees who were displaced at the time of Israel's creation 70 years ago. Anchorage Daily News, "Israel, US criticized for Palestinian deaths in Gaza clashes as death toll rises," 16 May 2018 The American Red Cross is assisting the two residents, who were displaced. Robert Krier, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Dogs rescued from burning home," 15 May 2018 The American Red Cross is assisting 22 residents who were displaced by the fire. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "Firefighters see Overland Park apartment fire blocks away, call for second alarm | The Kansas City Star," 14 May 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

4 Dec 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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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

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


to enclose within walls

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