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 \ (ˌ)dis-​ˈplā-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce displace (audio) , di-​ˈsplā-​ \ 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 Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, the Jim Crow South and the Progressive Era already have their definitive texts, and this relatively modest book won't displace them. Kevin Canfield, Star Tribune, "Review: 'The Age of Acrimony,' by Jon Grinspan," 23 Apr. 2021 His birth was historic: Louis is the first male heir born in the royal family who will not displace his older sister Charlotte in the succession to the throne. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "Prince Louis turns 3! Duchess Kate shares new birthday photo of the youngest Cambridge," 22 Apr. 2021 Zubac’s move into the starting five didn’t displace anybody else’s opportunities, whereas the Batum-Morris switch meant Batum had to make a midseason adjustment to learn the tendencies of a new rotation. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Why the Clippers’ lineup change helped Marcus Morris thrive," 12 Apr. 2021 Intel and others organizations have talked about how SSDs will displace high capacity nearline HDDs soon, but Seagate had a different view. Tom Coughlin, Forbes, "Seagate: High Capacity HDDs Have Better TCO Than SSDs," 25 Feb. 2021 Aging Kurt Warner only needed a year to displace him. Nate Davis, USA Today, "101 biggest NFL draft busts in history: Which gaffes stand out the most?," 12 Apr. 2021 That kind of earthquake would cause some $38 billion in building and infrastructure damage, displace 36,000 households — and kill between 1,000 and 2,000 people, according to the study. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego’s unstable real estate," 3 Mar. 2021 The scheme will also fund bus rapid transit routes and an all-electric bike-share system, and will dedicate funds to affordable housing and to ensure that the influx of great infrastructure doesn’t displace long-time residents. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "No One's Riding Transit. So Why Did Voters Support It?," 13 Nov. 2020 According to Salt Lake City emergency management officials, a worst-case earthquake could displace 350,000 residents and inflict moderate to severe damage to 85% of the city’s homes, bricks or not. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "A year after Magna earthquake, here’s what Utahns are doing — or should be — to prepare for the big one," 14 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for displace

Time Traveler

The first known use of displace was in 1549

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Statistics for displace

Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Displace.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/displace. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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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