adjective Heraldry.

  1. (of a bird) represented with wings and legs spread: an eagle displayed.

verb (used with object)

  1. to show or exhibit; make visible: to display a sign.
  2. to reveal; betray: to display fear.
  3. to unfold; open out; spread out: to display a sail.
  4. to show ostentatiously; flaunt.
  5. Printing. to give special prominence to (words, captions, etc.) by choice, size, and arrangement of type.
  6. 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.
  3. Printing.
    1. 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.
    2. printed matter thus displayed.
  4. an arrangement, as of merchandise, art objects, or flowers, designed to please the eye, attract buyers, etc.
  5. Digital Technology.
    1. the visual representation of the output of an electronic device.
    2. the portion of an electronic device that shows this representation, as a screen, lens, or reticle.
  6. Animal Behavior.
    1. 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.
    2. an instance of such behavior.


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


  1. the act of exhibiting or displaying; showa display of fear
  2. something exhibited or displayed
  3. 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
  4. electronics
    1. a device capable of representing information visually, as on a cathode-ray tube screen
    2. the information so presented
  5. 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
  6. (modifier) relating to or using typefaces that give prominence to the words they are used to set

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.

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