displacement

noun
dis·​place·​ment | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈplā-smənt How to pronounce displacement (audio) , 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
2a physics : the volume or weight of a fluid (such as water) displaced (see displace sense 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 also, automotive 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

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Examples of displacement in a Sentence

The war has caused the displacement of thousands of people. displacements in the Earth's crust soil displacement caused by farming
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Recent Examples on the Web

That latter point is why dirt bikes allow kids to (legally) progress the power and displacement ladder more quickly than ATVs. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Honda CRF50F Is the Quintessential Starter Dirt Bike," 28 Nov. 2018 Since her own girlhood, she's addressed issues of migration and displacement. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Let the Poet Warsan Shire Tell You About the "Bravest Girl in the World"," 8 Mar. 2019 In some cases, however, students may experience scholarship displacement even when there is no over-award. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "Why Getting Too Many College Scholarships Can Actually be a Problem," 10 Feb. 2019 Qian's latest achievement combines the self-assembly with a new technique called strand displacement. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Caltech scientists use DNA tiles to play tic-tac-toe at the nanoscale," 29 Dec. 2018 Once strong enough, the curds and whey make a trip just a few feet away through a 3-inch-diameter positive-displacement pump into the cheddaring vat. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Connected to the Craft," 3 Dec. 2018 This means that the engine actually varies in displacement; when the compression ratio is at its lowest, the engine measures 1.997L compared to just 1.970L when compression is highest. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Variable-compression engine meets crossover: Infiniti QX50 review," 8 Nov. 2018 There’s even a parallel in the displacement of firstborn son Fred Jr. from his original slot as heir apparent. WSJ, "Dogs Bite Men and Trumps Duck Taxes," 5 Oct. 2018 With electronic fuel management and a better understanding of emissions control, engines began to produce more power while shrinking in displacement. Blake Z. Rong, Popular Mechanics, "​​The Evolution of the Combustion Engine​​," 5 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of displacement

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for displacement

see displace

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Statistics for displacement

Last Updated

28 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for displacement

The first known use of displacement was in 1611

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More Definitions for displacement

displacement

noun

English Language Learners Definition of displacement

: the act of forcing people or animals to leave the area where they live
: the movement of something from its original or regular position
technical : the amount of water that is moved by an object when it is placed in water

displacement

noun
dis·​place·​ment | \ -ˈplā-smənt How to pronounce displacement (audio) \

Medical Definition of displacement

1a : 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
3a : 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

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Comments on displacement

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