General English

  • verb to put something in a display

General Science



  • noun the showing of goods for sale


  • noun a device on which information or images can be presented visually


  • A device utilized to display the images generated by a computer, TV, oscilloscope, radar, or other similar device with a visual output. It incorporates the viewing screen and its housing. A specific example is a CRT. Also called display device, display monitor, monitor (1), or video monitor (1).
  • The viewing screen of a display (1). Such a display may be a CRT display, a liquid crystal display, a plasma display, and so on. Also called display screen, or screen (1).
  • The visual output shown on a display (1). For a computer to generate such a display, it requires a display adapter. Also called readout (1).

Information & Library Science

  • noun an exhibition for public viewing
  • verb to set up or arrange for something to be viewed

Media Studies

  • adjective referring to typefaces that are designed for prominent use in advertising
  • noun printed advertising that uses attractive pictures, typography or other features

Origin & History of “display”

Display originally meant ‘unfold’, and it is related not to modern English play but to ply. It comes via Old French despleier (whose modern French descendant, déployer, is the source of English deploy (18th c.)) from Latin displicāre. this was a compound verb formed from the prefix dis- ‘un-’ and plicāre ‘fold’ (source of or related to English accomplish, complicated, ply, and simple), and in classical Latin seems only to have had the metaphorical meaning ‘scatter’. In medieval Latin, however, it returned to its underlying literal sense ‘unfold’, which was originally retained in English, particularly with reference to sails or flags. The notion of ‘spreading out’ is retained in splay, which was formed by lopping off the first syllable of display in the 14th century.