Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To cause annoyance or vexation to.
  • intransitive v. To cause annoyance or displeasure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make not pleased; to excite a feeling of disapprobation or dislike in; to be disagreeable to; to offend; to vex; -- often followed by with or at. It usually expresses less than to anger, vex, irritate, or provoke.
  • v. To fail to satisfy; to miss of.
  • v. To give displeasure or offense.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make not pleased; to excite a feeling of disapprobation or dislike in; to be disagreeable to; to offend; to vex; -- often followed by with or at. It usually expresses less than to anger, vex, irritate, or provoke.
  • transitive v. To fail to satisfy; to miss of.
  • intransitive v. To give displeasure or offense.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fail to please; offend; be disagreeable to; excite aversion in: as, acrid and rancid substances displease the taste; glaring colors displease the eye; his conduct displeased his relatives.
  • To fail to accomplish or satisfy; fall short of.
  • [Frequently followed by to in old English.] Synonyms To annoy, chafe, provoke, pique, fret.
  • To excite disgust or aversion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. give displeasure to

Etymologies

Middle English displesen, from Old French desplaire, desplais-, from Vulgar Latin *displacēre, from Latin displicēre : Latin dis-, dis- + Latin placēre, to please; see please.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English displesen, from Anglo-Norman despleisir, despler, from Old French desplere, from des- + plere. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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