v. dis·played, dis·play·ing, dis·plays
a. To present to view; cause to be seen: The doctor displayed her diploma on the wall of her office. The autumn woods display a wide array of colors. See Synonyms at show.
b. To exhibit ostentatiously; show off: garish hosts who display their wealth whenever guests come over.
c. To show (images or information) on a screen: The time is displayed on the bottom right corner of the computer monitor.
2. To be or give evidence of; manifest or reveal: writing that displays broad knowledge; a decision that displays poor judgment.
3. To spread out; unfurl: The peacock displayed its fan.
4. Biochemistry To position (a protein, for example) on the surface of a biological entity such as a virus: proteins displayed on a bacteriophage.
Zoology To exhibit a behavioral display.
a. The act of displaying.
b. Ostentatious exhibition: an attention-seeker who was fond of display.
c. A public exhibition.
d. Objects or merchandise set out for viewing by the public.
2. A demonstration or manifestation: a display of temper.
a. Zoology A specialized pattern of behavior used to communicate visually, such as the presentation of colors or plumage by male birds as part of courtship or intimidation.
b. An instance of such behavior.
4. An advertisement or headline designed to catch the eye.
5. An electronic device, such as a computer monitor or cellphone screen, that presents information in a visual form.
6. Biochemistry An in vitro method by which genetically engineered proteins are placed on the surface of a biological entity (such as a bacteriophage, yeast, or ribosome) so that the properties of these proteins and those they bind to can be analyzed and manipulated for research purposes.
In public view; for all to see.
[Middle English displaien, from Anglo-Norman despleier, from Medieval Latin displicāre, to unfold, from Latin, to scatter : dis-, apart; see DIS– + plicāre, to fold; see plek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.