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What does crowded out mean in the following sentence?

Adultery and theft of food or animals were crowded out by highway robbery, pickpocketing and other crimes common to an increasingly industrial and urbanized center.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

When X crowds out Y, X is replacing Y by pushing Y out. In this case, pickpocketing (etc.) replaced theft of animals (etc.) since it became more popular and hence more common.

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Wonderful response. Thank you! – Jon Aug 19 '11 at 20:14

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