[ dih-spley ]
See synonyms for: displaydisplayeddisplayingdisplays on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to show or exhibit; make visible: to display a sign.

  2. to reveal; betray: to display fear.

  1. to unfold; open out; spread out: to display a sail.

  2. to show ostentatiously; flaunt.

  3. Printing. to give special prominence to (words, captions, etc.) by choice, size, and arrangement of type.

  4. Digital Technology. to output (data) on a screen.

verb (used without object)
  1. (of animals) to engage in a stereotyped behavior that conveys information to individuals of the same or another species.

  1. an act or instance of displaying; exhibition: a display of courage.

  2. an ostentatious show: a vulgar display of wealth.

  1. Printing.

    • the giving of prominence to particular words, sentences, etc., by the choice, size, and arrangement of types and position, as in an advertisement, headline, or news story.

    • printed matter thus displayed.

  2. an arrangement, as of merchandise, art objects, or flowers, designed to please the eye, attract buyers, etc.

  3. Digital Technology.

    • the visual representation of the output of an electronic device.

    • the portion of an electronic device that shows this representation, as a screen, lens, or reticle.

  4. Animal Behavior.

    • a pattern of behavior, as posturing, calling, or exposing a color patch, that conveys information to individuals of the same or another species: a threat display.

    • an instance of such behavior.

Origin of display

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English desplayen, displayen, from Anglo-French, Old French despleier, desplier, desploier, from Late Latin displicāre “to unfold”; see origin at dis-1, -fold

synonym study For display

1, 2. Display, evince, exhibit, manifest mean to show or bring to the attention of another or others. To display is literally to spread something out so that it may be most completely and favorably seen: to display goods for sale. To exhibit is to display something in a show: to exhibit the best flowers. They may both be used for showing (off) one's qualities or feelings: He displayed his wit. He exhibited great surprise. To evince and to manifest also mean to show feelings or qualities: to evince or manifest surprise, interest.

Other words for display

Opposites for display

Other words from display

  • dis·play·er, noun
  • pre·dis·play, noun, verb (used with object)
  • re·dis·play, verb (used with object)
  • self-dis·play, noun
  • un·dis·play·ing, adjective

Words Nearby display

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use display in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for display


/ (dɪˈspleɪ) /

  1. (tr) to show or make visible

  2. (tr) to disclose or make evident; reveal: to display anger

  1. (tr) to flaunt in an ostentatious way: to display military might

  2. (tr) to spread or open out; unfurl or unfold

  3. (tr) to give prominence to (headings, captions, etc) by the use of certain typefaces

  4. (intr) zoology to engage in a display

  1. the act of exhibiting or displaying; show: a display of fear

  2. something exhibited or displayed

  1. an ostentatious or pretentious exhibition: a display of his accomplishments

    • an arrangement of certain typefaces to give prominence to headings, captions, advertisements, etc

    • printed matter that is eye-catching

  2. electronics

    • a device capable of representing information visually, as on a cathode-ray tube screen

    • the information so presented

  3. zoology a pattern of behaviour in birds, fishes, etc, by which the animal attracts attention while it is courting the female, defending its territory, etc

  4. (modifier) relating to or using typefaces that give prominence to the words they are used to set

Origin of display

C14: from Anglo-French despleier to unfold, from Late Latin displicāre to scatter, from dis- 1 + plicāre to fold

Derived forms of display

  • displayer, 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