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verb (used with object), mis·placed, mis·plac·ing.
  1. to put in a wrong place.
  2. to put in a place afterward forgotten; lose; mislay.
  3. to place or bestow improperly, unsuitably, or unwisely: to misplace one's trust.
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Origin of misplace

First recorded in 1545–55; mis-1 + place
Related formsmis·place·ment, noun


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Synonym study

1, 2. See displace.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

gone, mislaid, lost

Examples from the Web for misplaced

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • With a man of that sort scrupulousness was a misplaced and even an illegal sentiment.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • I am happy to believe that my confidence in that great nation was not misplaced.

  • They are misplaced between us,' returned the other, waving his hand, 'and say plainly what we have to say.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • We are tired of wings that are really nothing but horns, misshaped and misplaced.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • The "a" was misplaced, the "W" minus its lower right-hand corner.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

British Dictionary definitions for misplaced


verb (tr)
  1. to put (something) in the wrong place, esp to lose (something) temporarily by forgetting where it was placed; mislay
  2. (often passive) to bestow (trust, confidence, affection, etc) unadvisedly
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Derived Formsmisplacement, 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 misplaced



1550s, "to assign a wrong position to;" see mis- (1) + place (v.). Of affections, confidence, etc., "to give to a wrong object," it is recorded from 1630s. Related: Misplaced; misplacing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper