verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

(of animals) to engage in a stereotyped behavior that conveys information to individuals of the same or another species.


Origin of display

1250–1300; Middle English desplayen < Anglo-French, Old French despleier < Late Latin displicāre to unfold. See dis-1, plicate
Related formsdis·play·er, nounpre·dis·play, noun, verb (used with object)re·dis·play, verb (used with object)self-dis·play, nounun·dis·play·ing, adjective

Synonyms for display

Synonym study

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. 8. See show.

Antonyms for display

1, 2. conceal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for displaying

Contemporary Examples of displaying

Historical Examples of displaying

  • “This is the last opera of the season,” said she, displaying a pink ticket.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • This sight amused him, particularly when there were women there displaying their bare bosoms.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • The skin had been torn away, displaying the rosy flesh, studded with dark specks.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • Now then you have a fine opportunity of displaying your training.



  • Portstewart was displaying symptoms of decline as a watering-place.

British Dictionary definitions for displaying



(tr) to show or make visible
(tr) to disclose or make evident; revealto display anger
(tr) to flaunt in an ostentatious wayto display military might
(tr) to spread or open out; unfurl or unfold
(tr) to give prominence to (headings, captions, etc) by the use of certain typefaces
(intr) zoology to engage in a display


the act of exhibiting or displaying; showa display of fear
something exhibited or displayed
an ostentatious or pretentious exhibitiona display of his accomplishments
  1. an arrangement of certain typefaces to give prominence to headings, captions, advertisements, etc
  2. printed matter that is eye-catching
  1. a device capable of representing information visually, as on a cathode-ray tube screen
  2. the information so presented
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
(modifier) relating to or using typefaces that give prominence to the words they are used to set
Derived Formsdisplayer, noun

Word Origin for display

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



late 13c., "unfurl" (a banner, etc.), from Old French desploiir (Modern French déployer) "unfold, unfasten, spread out" (of knots, sealed letters, etc.), from Latin displicare "to scatter," from dis- "un-, apart" (see dis-) + plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)).

Properly of sails or flags (and unconnected to play); meaning "reveal, exhibit" is late 14c. Related: Displayed; displaying.



1580s, "description," from display (v.). Meaning "exhibition" is from 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper