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 Foreign Ministry says many internally displaced have already returned home, urging refugees to do same. NBC News, "Syrian government calls on refugees to return home," 4 July 2018 Flames then spread from the car to the carport to the mobile home, displacing the lone resident. Alex Riggins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fire tears through Lakeside mobile home," 13 July 2018 In speeches and letters, Grinberg expressed his vision for a haven where displaced Jews could rehabilitate physically and spiritually and rebuild the Jewish community. Emanuella Grinberg, Smithsonian, "When a Bavarian Monastery Provided a Home to Jewish Refugees," 11 July 2018 In her statement, the activist hopes the anniversary reminds nations around the world to take steps in preventing another genocide as millions of refugees are displaced. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Angelina Jolie Reflects on 23rd Anniversary of Bosnian Genocide: 'Time Cannot Diminish the Pain'," 11 July 2018 The county will open a local assistance center at the Alpine Branch Library starting Monday to aid displaced residents with the recovery and the rebuilding process. Lyndsay Winkley, latimes.com, "Number of structures lost in San Diego County fire more than doubles," 9 July 2018 Amid a bloody civil war in Sierra Leone that left over 50,000 people dead and millions displaced, Tiafoe’s mother, Alphina, won the U.S. government’s visa lottery and a green card to work stateside. Katherine Fominykh, baltimoresun.com, "Five things to know about Riverdale's tennis phenom, Frances Tiafoe," 7 July 2018 Waves of violence broke out in the western Rakhine state in 2012 between Muslims and Buddhists, leaving nearly 200 dead and displaced some 140,000, mainly Rohingya Muslims and reverberated across the country in the months and years that followed. Timothy Mclaughlin, WIRED, "How Facebook’s Rise Fueled Chaos and Confusion in Myanmar," 6 July 2018 This indicates that ride-hailing is displacing transit ridership and increasing vehicle miles traveled by cars. Daniel Sperling, Scientific American, "Can Ride-Hailing Improve Public Transportation Instead of Undercutting It?," 5 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

6 Nov 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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