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in psychology: see defense mechanismdefense mechanism,
in psychoanalysis, any of a variety of unconscious personality reactions which the ego uses to protect the conscious mind from threatening feelings and perceptions.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in mechanics, the vector connecting the positions of a moving point at the beginning and the end of a certain time interval. The displacement vector is directed along the chord between the beginning and end of the point’s trajectory.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



Although many aspects of the personality theory formulated by Sigmund Freud have been rejected by contemporary analysts, Freud was nevertheless responsible for a significant number of insights into human nature that have been generally accepted. Among these insights are the Freudian “defense mechanisms,” one of which is displacement. In displacement we repress a certain urge, which is then redirected to another object or person. A familiar example is the employee who is yelled at by his boss, and who then goes home and yells at his spouse. What he really wants to do is to yell back at his boss, but he redirects the urge and takes out his anger on a safer target. A roughly similar process takes place in dreams.

According to Freud, dreams provide an avenue for the expression of normally repressed desires while simultaneously disguising and censoring our real urges. In this view the purpose of dreams is to allow us to satisfy in fantasies the instinctual urges that society judges to be unacceptable in some way, such as the urge to kill a bullying employer. If, however, we were to dream about the actual, overt murder of our boss, the emotions evoked by he dream would wake us up. So that our sleep is not continually disturbed by such dreams, the mind modifies and disguises the content of our dreams so that strong emotions are not evoked. Thus, instead of dreaming about killing our boss, we might, for example, dream about our employer’s automobile being accidentally crushed by a runaway garbage truck.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


A chemical reaction in which an atom, radical, or molecule displaces and sets free an element of a compound.
(computer science)
The number of character positions or memory locations from some point of reference to a specified character or data item. Also known as offset.
(fluid mechanics)
The weight of fluid which is displaced by a floating body, equal to the weight of the body and its contents; the displacement of a ship is generally measured in long tons (1 long ton = 2240 pounds).
The volume of fluid which is displaced by a floating body.
The linear distance from the initial to the final position of an object moved from one place to another, regardless of the length of path followed.
The distance of an oscillating particle from its equilibrium position.
(mechanical engineering)
The volume swept out in one stroke by a piston moving in a cylinder as for an engine, pump, or compressor.
A defense mechanism in which emotions, ideas, or wishes are transferred from their original object to a more acceptable substitute.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


displacementclick for a larger image
displacementclick for a larger image
i. The total volume swept by pistons during the 180° rotation of a crankshaft of an internal combustion engine. It is the volume between top dead center and bottom dead center of an engine cylinder. Also called a swept volume.
ii. The mass of air displaced by a balloon or an airship. It may also be referred to as the weight of displaced air.
iii. The distance of any point from a standard point.
iv. The separation between a target and an interceptor at any point of time.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


1. the weight or volume displaced by a floating or submerged body in a fluid
2. the volume displaced by the piston of a reciprocating pump or engine
3. Psychoanal the transferring of emotional feelings from their original object to one that disguises their real nature
4. Geology the distance any point on one side of a fault plane has moved in relation to a corresponding point on the opposite side
5. Astronomy an apparent change in position of a body, such as a star
6. Maths the distance measured in a particular direction from a reference point.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A machine architecture that runs programs no matter where they reside in memory. Addresses in a machine language program are displacement addresses, which are relative to the beginning of the program. At runtime, the hardware adds the address of the current first byte of the program (base address) to each displacement address and derives an absolute address for execution.

All modern computers use some form of base/displacement or offset mechanism in order to to run multiple programs in memory at the same time.
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