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From Middle French desplacer (French: déplacer).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪsˈpleɪs/, /dɪzˈpleɪs/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /dɪsˈpleɪs/
  • Rhymes: -eɪs


displace (third-person singular simple present displaces, present participle displacing, simple past and past participle displaced)

  1. To put out of place; to disarrange.
  2. To move something, or someone, especially to forcibly move people from their homeland.
    • 2023 May 8, “Manipur: Thousands displaced as ethnic clashes grip north-eastern state”, in BBC News[1]:
      Manipur: Thousands displaced as ethnic clashes grip north-eastern state
  3. To supplant, or take the place of something or someone; to substitute.
  4. To replace, on account of being superior to or more suitable than that which is being replaced.
    Electronic calculators soon displaced the older mechanical kind.
    • 1950 January, Cecil J. Allen, “British Locomotive Practice and Performance”, in Railway Magazine, page 13:
      All have gone the same way, and since the war have displaced up-to-date steam power on all their principal services by the all-conquering diesel.
  5. (of a floating ship) To have a weight equal to that of the water displaced.
  6. (psychology) To repress.
    • 2017, Megan Garber, “The Case for Shyness”, in The Atlantic[2]:
      Freud considered shyness to be evidence of displaced narcissism.

Derived terms[edit]


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