lacking a home, country, etc.
moved or put out of the usual or proper place.


(used with a plural verb) persons who lack a home, as through political exile, destruction of their previous shelter, or lack of financial resources (usually preceded by the): After the earthquake, the displaced were temporarily housed in armories.

Origin of displaced

First recorded in 1565–75; displace + -ed2
Related formsun·dis·placed, adjective



verb (used with object), dis·placed, dis·plac·ing.

to compel (a person or persons) to leave home, country, etc.
to move or put out of the usual or proper place.
to take the place of; replace; supplant: Fiction displaces fact.
to remove from a position, office, or dignity.
Obsolete. to rid oneself of.

Origin of displace

1545–55; dis-1 + place, perhaps modeled on Middle French desplacer
Related formsdis·place·a·ble, adjectivepre·dis·place, verb (used with object), pre·dis·placed, pre·dis·plac·ing.un·dis·place·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for displace

Synonym study

2. Displace, misplace mean to put something in a different place from where it should be. To displace often means to shift something solid and comparatively immovable, more or less permanently from its place: The flood displaced houses from their foundations. To misplace is to put an object in a wrong place so that it is difficult to find: Papers belonging in the safe were misplaced and temporarily lost.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for displaced

deranged, removed, ectopic

Examples from the Web for displaced

Contemporary Examples of displaced

Historical Examples of displaced

  • This was so unexpected that his wrath was, for the instant, displaced by astonishment.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Was I to get on to the top form of my division, and if so, was it Langrish or Purkis who was to be displaced?

    Tom, Dick and Harry

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • All the old-time flowers are favorites there and refuse to be displaced by any newcomer.


    Anna Balmer Myers

  • On reaching my mother's tomb we saw that the stone was displaced.

  • It is a cavalry barracks: dragoons have displaced Dominicans.

British Dictionary definitions for displaced


verb (tr)

to move from the usual or correct location
to remove from office or employment
to occupy the place of; replace; supplant
to force (someone) to leave home or country, as during a war
chem to replace (an atom or group in a chemical compound) by another atom or group
physics to cause a displacement of (a quantity of liquid, usually water of a specified type and density)
Derived Formsdisplaceable, adjectivedisplacer, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for displaced



1550s, from Middle French desplacer (15c.), from des- (see dis-) + placer "to place." Related: Displaced; displacing. Displaced person "refugee" is from 1944.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper