displacement

play
noun dis·place·ment \ (ˌ)dis-ˈplā-smənt , di-ˈsplā- \

Definition of displacement

1 :the act or process of displacing :the state of being displaced
  • a storm that caused the displacement of thousands of people
2 a physics :the volume or weight of a fluid (such as water) displaced (see displace 2a) by a floating body (such as a ship) of equal weight
b :the difference between the initial position of something (such as a body or geometric figure) and any later position
c mechanical engineering :the volume displaced by a piston (as in a pump or an engine) in a single stroke; alsoautomotive vehicles :the total volume so displaced by all the pistons in an internal combustion engine
3 psychology
a :the redirection of an emotion or impulse from its original object (such as an idea or person) to another
  • the displacement of his emotions
b :the substitution of another form of behavior for what is usual or expected especially when the usual response is nonadaptive or socially inappropriate called also displacement activity, displacement behavior

Examples of displacement in a Sentence

  1. The war has caused the displacement of thousands of people.

  2. displacements in the Earth's crust

  3. soil displacement caused by farming

Recent Examples of displacement from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of displacement


Medical Dictionary

displacement

play
noun dis·place·ment \ -ˈplā-smənt \

medical Definition of displacement

1 a :the act or process of removing something from its usual or proper place or the state resulting from this :dislocation
  • the displacement of a knee joint
2 :the quantity in which or the degree to which something is displaced
3 a :the redirection of an emotion or impulse from its original object (as an idea or person) to something that is more acceptable
c :the substitution of another form of behavior for what is usual or expected especially when the usual response is nonadaptive called also displacement activity, displacement behavior


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

alert quickness of mind or body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!