dis·play | \di-ˈsplā \

Definition of display 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put or spread before the view display the flag

b : to make evident displayed great skill

c : to exhibit ostentatiously liked to display his erudition

2 obsolete : descry

intransitive verb

1 obsolete : show off

2 : to make a breeding (see breeding sense 4) display penguins displayed and copulated


noun, often attributive

Definition of display (Entry 2 of 2)

1a(1) : a setting or presentation of something in open view a fireworks display

(2) : a clear sign or evidence : exhibition a display of courage

b : ostentatious show worldly display

c : type (see type entry 1 sense 2), composition, or printing designed to catch the eye

d : an eye-catching arrangement by which something is exhibited a display of artifacts merchandise in a window display often used with on her early paintings are currently on display

e : an electronic device (such as a LCD) or part of a device (such as the screen of a tablet) that presents information in visual form a temperature display also : the visual information presented

2 zoology : a pattern of behavior exhibited especially by male birds in the breeding season

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Other Words from display


displayable \-ˈsplā-ə-bəl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for display


show, exhibit, display, expose, parade, flaunt mean to present so as to invite notice or attention. show implies no more than enabling another to see or examine. showed her snapshots to the whole group exhibit stresses putting forward prominently or openly. exhibit paintings at a gallery display emphasizes putting in a position where others may see to advantage. display sale items expose suggests bringing forth from concealment and displaying. sought to expose the hypocrisy of the town fathers parade implies an ostentatious or arrogant displaying. parading their piety for all to see flaunt suggests a shameless, boastful, often offensive parading. nouveaux riches flaunting their wealth

Examples of display in a Sentence


Students displayed their projects at the science fair. Toys were displayed in the store window. Her awards are prominently displayed on the mantel. The museum displays relics found during the excavation of the site. He displayed no emotion when I told him the news. I was impressed by the care she displayed in making the flower arrangements. The rookie player displayed great skill. The company has displayed exceptional dedication to this community.


The library's current display features locally made crafts. Her trophies are in a display case. The celebration ended with a spectacular fireworks display.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Two men displaying handguns made off with hundreds of dollars during a Thursday night armed robbery of an Oak Park sandwich shop, police said. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, "Police: Armed men swipe cash register, rob customer at Oak Park Subway restaurant," 14 July 2018 The song — the third she’s released off her upcoming new album — comes with a chill beat, on top of which the 25-year-old singer displays her signature vocal acrobatics. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Pete Davidson Praises Ariana Grande's Topless Photo as Her Ex Mac Miller Raps About Lost Love," 13 July 2018 Mote, of 12 Vine St., Hartford, approached the victim at 350 Roberts St at about 7:30 p.m., displayed a large knife and demanded the man’s car keys, police spokesman Lt. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "East Hartford Police Say Knife-Wielding Robber Caught In Hartford," 12 July 2018 Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Giornale published Wednesday that Moscow hopes that Israel and Iran will both display caution and avoid a showdown. Time, "Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu Meet in Moscow to Discuss Iran-Syria Ties," 12 July 2018 And the large-scale internet needs the figure out the way to guarantee the same protections as smaller communities by moderating with a sense of decency and displaying the same basic sense of judgment as a damn open mic night. Film Crit Hulk, The Verge, "Don’t feed the trolls, and other hideous lies," 12 July 2018 The department’s budget document includes a chart, displayed below, that shows the peak occurred in 1944 at 35.5 percent of GDP. Eugene Kiely, USA TODAY, "Fact check: President Trump’s defense spending exaggerations," 12 July 2018 While the lawsuit continues, the rainbow flag Davis displayed outside her office alongside the California and U.S. flags has been replaced. Joshua Stewart, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Rainbow flag lawsuit enters appellate court in its second year," 11 July 2018 According to BuzzFeed News, displaying a pride flag or other pride paraphernalia in Russia can lead to fines or even arrest. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Activists Use the World Cup to Challenge Russia's Anti-LGBTQ Policies," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That cooperation between agencies was also on display in Thailand, Mirza said. Billy Kobin, Indianapolis Star, "Hoosier cave diving experts: 'Never heard of anything' like Thailand rescue," 12 July 2018 The six finalists, including Brown, currently have their work on display in an exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art through Aug. 5. Katie V. Jones, Howard County Times, "Laurel photographer's perceptions of beauty," 12 July 2018 One item on display in Sheffield is a Trent fan disc for a Rolls-Royce engine; the centre reduced the component’s production time by 50%. The Economist, "A welcome upgrade to apprenticeships," 12 July 2018 The flags have been on display in rotation at more than a dozen locations, including the flagpole outside KU’s Spooner Hall, since November. Katy Bergen, kansascity, "Controversial flag removed at KU is flying in KC Crossroads," 12 July 2018 His pre-World War I photographs of Vienna, when put on display in the 1930s, took on a new pathos as World War II approached. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Faces of Old Vienna," 12 July 2018 The power of his unmatched length and untapped potential has already been on display in Vegas. San Antonio Express-News, "The Bamba Project is still in early stages," 11 July 2018 To the black and white photos on display in Volterra of the Italians who guarded the Etruscan Arch from the Nazis. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Guided bike trip through hills of Tuscany offers unforgettable vistas and lessons," 10 July 2018 The team ended up making 15 prototypes in Cheng's garage, some of which are now on display in Brava's Redwood City offices. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "Brava Hopes to Heat Up the 'Smart Kitchen' With a $995 Oven," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'display.' 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 display


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1665, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for display


Middle English, from Anglo-French desplaier, desploier, literally, to unfold — more at deploy


see display entry 1

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Learn More about display

Phrases Related to display

caller display

on display

window display

Statistics for display

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for display

The first known use of display was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for display



English Language Learners Definition of display

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to put (something) where people can see it

: to show that you have (an emotion, quality, skill, etc.)



English Language Learners Definition of display (Entry 2 of 2)

: an arrangement of objects intended to decorate, advertise, entertain, or inform people about something

: an event at which something is done or shown to impress or entertain people

: an action, performance, etc., which shows very clearly that you have some ability, feeling, quality, etc.


dis·play | \di-ˈsplā \
displayed; displaying

Kids Definition of display

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to put (something) in plain sight The store displays toys in its window.

2 : to make clear the existence or presence of : show plainly display anger She displayed a gift for acting.



Kids Definition of display (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a presentation of something a fireworks display

2 : an arrangement of something where it can be easily seen a store display

3 : an electronic device (as a computer monitor) that shows information

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Comments on display

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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