Definition of display in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈspleɪ/


[with object]
1Put (something) in a prominent place in order that it may readily be seen: the palace used to display a series of tapestries a notice was displayed in the booking office
More example sentences
  • Isn't Marx making a deliberately exaggerated statement of his own position in order to display its novelty?
  • The cameras were displayed in the chronological order of technological evolution.
  • Chopin's Preludes return independence to the hands in order to display a new kind of allusive dialogue between them.
exhibit, show, put on show, put on view, expose to view, present, unveil, set forth;
arrange, dispose, array, lay out, set out
1.1Show (data or an image) on a computer, television, or other screen: pressing the F1 key will display a help screen
More example sentences
  • By controlling where and when that field is applied, the screen can display an image.
  • It is not limited to dedicated handheld devices but can be displayed on any computer screen.
  • But, when the image is displayed on a wide screen set, the bars are lost and the bottoms of the subtitle text can be slightly cut off.
1.2Give a clear demonstration of (a quality, emotion, or skill): both players displayed a great deal of spirit
More example sentences
  • Of course some rule changes over the years have taken away the ability of players to display the skill of fielding.
  • It will be good for the game to see a talented player like Mattie Forde display his skills in Croke Park before a large crowd.
  • It is about those players displaying the skill and commitment to come up with a winning strategy, for the sake of the greater good.
show off, parade, flaunt, flourish, reveal;
publicize, make public, make known, give publicity to, call attention to, draw attention to
informal flash, push, plug, hype, boost
manifest, show evidence of, evince, betray, give away, reveal, disclose;
demonstrate, show
1.3 [no object] (Of a male bird, reptile, or fish) engage in a specialized pattern of behaviour that is intended to attract a mate: she photographed the peacock, which chose that moment to display
More example sentences
  • We will go to where the male birds display or lekk and count the ones there.
  • Startled females may also lose the opportunity to mate with more intensely displaying, preferred males.
  • My earliest diary records watching great spotted woodpeckers displaying.


1A performance, show, or event staged for public entertainment: a display of fireworks [as modifier]: an aerobatic display team
More example sentences
  • In addition to performances and displays, the event also showed off achievements and contributions worldwide.
  • The day will finish with one of the most spectacular firework displays Britain has ever staged.
  • There are, of course, professional companies which stage firework displays and take every precaution to see that the most rigorous safety measures apply.
1.1A collection of objects arranged for public viewing: the museum houses an informative display of rocks [mass noun]: the latest in computer gadgetry was on display
More example sentences
  • Some of his collection are now on display at his house, whose architectural inspiration was a mud mosque in Timbuktu.
  • Created by Mark Rode the piece will be included in a civic collection on display in King House, Boyle.
  • On display at the Butterfly House are Emperors or Blue Morphos.
exhibition, exposition, exhibit, array, arrangement, presentation, demonstration;
spectacle, show, parade, pageant, extravaganza
informal expo, demo
1.2A clear demonstration of an emotion, skill, or quality: a hint of malice underlay his display of concern
More example sentences
  • Some novelists trumpet their skill with showy displays; others demonstrate their expertise with quiet precision.
  • The breathtaking display of skill and derring-do by the cadets of the National Cadet Corps on Sunday left one dumbfounded.
  • With snow not normally found at this time of year, even in the nearby Peak District, the demonstrators took to trampolines to give a display of their skills.
manifestation, expression, show, showing, indication, evidence, betrayal, revelation, disclosure
1.3 [mass noun] The conspicuous exhibition of one’s wealth; ostentation: every clansman was determined to outdo the Campbells in display
More example sentences
  • They are now seen more simply as part of a general trend to ostentatious display of personal wealth, introduced at that time from central Europe.
  • The conspicuous display of obscene wealth is not a creation of Forbes or the Tatler, but goes back to the Pyramids and beyond.
  • The ostentatious display of ill-gotten wealth only added to Adam's carefully masked anger.
ostentation, ostentatiousness, showiness, show, pomp, extravagance, ornateness, flamboyance, lavishness, resplendence, splendour, splendidness
informal swank, swankiness, pizzazz, razzle-dazzle, flashiness, glitz, glitziness, splashiness
1.4A specialized pattern of behaviour by the males of certain species of birds, reptiles, and fish that is intended to attract a mate: the teal were indulging in delightful courtship displays
More example sentences
  • Males perform aerial displays to attract mates and deter intruders.
  • Satin bowerbird courtship involves behavioral displays by males, which may be both beneficial and costly for females, and may favor female signaling.
  • Courtship involves aerial displays in some species; in many others it may only involve ritualized feeding in which the male brings food to the female.
1.5 [mass noun] Printing The arrangement and choice of type in a style intended to attract attention.
Example sentences
  • Incidentally, if you click on the analyzer, it switches through a number of different display styles.
  • Yet most appraisals of type technology and histories of proprietary typefounding still favor type for text instead of eye-catching display.
2An electronic device for the visual presentation of data or images: the colour display now costs £400
More example sentences
  • Combined finger touch and stylus detection system for use on the viewing surface of a visual display device
  • Unlike other systems, the device is not an overlay on the plasma display causing image degradation.
  • The insulator structure may also enhance the focus of electrons emitted by the field emitter device on the display screen.
2.1 [mass noun] The process or facility of presenting data or images on a computer screen or other device: the processing and display of high volumes of information
More example sentences
  • It's unavoidable that printing involves certain complications that are not present for screen display.
  • Image acquisition, storage, display and processing, and image transfer represent the basis of telemedicine.
  • While the resolution is not good enough for printing, it's fine for a computer program and screen display.
2.2The data or images shown on a computer screen or other device: the user may wish to see the previous few words as handwriting before the display changes
More example sentences
  • The only signals required to be sent to the host were those necessary for us to see an exact image of the display on the remote computer.
  • And after the computer resizes the display, I ask her if it looks ok and whether she can read it.
  • An easy to read backlit LCD display shows folder, recording time and battery power remaining.



Example sentences
  • The dichotomy between male and female-male as arbiter of reason and female as displayer of passion-makes me uncomfortable.
  • If at all possible, get permission to enter the preparation room to see what experienced displayers do before the judging begins.
  • One displayer (stuck in a box seat on the side) even had a clever sign stuck on the wall behind him saying: ‘Welcome to Tokyo’ in order to illustrate various things such as remote assistance, Instant Messenger and more.


Middle English (in the sense 'unfurl, unfold'): from Old French despleier, from Latin displicare 'scatter, disperse' (in medieval Latin 'unfold'). Compare with deploy.

  • The early meaning of this was ‘unfurl (a banner or sail), unfold’. The word comes via Old French from Latin displicare ‘scatter, disperse’, which came to mean ‘unfold’ in medieval Latin and was also the source of deploy (late 18th century). In English the notion of ‘unfurling’ led to ‘causing to notice’. Splay (Middle English) was originally a shortening of display.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis|play

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