Definition - The capability of human language to refer to things that are not immediately present, e.g. in 2012 someone saying, "I hate Adolph Hitler."

1. It is one of 16 design features of language that Hockett claims distinguish human language from animal communication systems.

Example Usages -

1. "Man is apparently almost unique in being able to talk about things that are remote in space or time (or both) from where the talking goes on. This feature—"displacement"—seems to be definitely lacking in the vocal signaling of man's closest relatives, though it does occur in bee-dancing."
(Source: Hockett, Charles F., The origin of speech )

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