de·​mand | \ di-ˈmand How to pronounce demand (audio) , -ˈmänd, dē- \

Definition of demand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an act of demanding or asking especially with authority a demand for obedience
b : something claimed as due or owed the demands of the workers' union
2 archaic : question
3a economics : willingness and ability to purchase a commodity or service the demand for quality day care
b : the quantity of a commodity or service wanted at a specified price and time supply and demand
4a : a seeking or state of being sought after in great demand as an entertainer
b : urgent need an increased demand for blood donations
5 : the requirement of work or of the expenditure of a resource equal to the demands of the office demands on one's time oxygen demand for waste oxidation
on demand
: upon presentation and request for payment also : when requested or needed video on demand


demanded; demanding; demands

Definition of demand (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to call for something in an authoritative way : to make a demand : ask

transitive verb

1 : to ask or call for with authority : claim as due or just demanded to see a lawyer
2 : to call for urgently, imperiously, or insistently demanded that the rioters disperse
3a : to ask authoritatively or earnestly to be informed of demand the reason for the dismissal
b : to require to come : summon
4 : to call for as useful or necessary etiquette demands a handwritten thank-you

Other Words from demand


demandable \ di-​ˈman-​də-​bəl How to pronounce demand (audio) , -​ˈmän-​ , dē-​ \ adjective
demander noun

Choose the Right Synonym for demand


demand, claim, require, exact mean to ask or call for something as due or as necessary. demand implies peremptoriness and insistence and often the right to make requests that are to be regarded as commands. demanded payment of the debt claim implies a demand for the delivery or concession of something due as one's own or one's right. claimed the right to manage his own affairs require suggests the imperativeness that arises from inner necessity, compulsion of law or regulation, or the exigencies of the situation. the patient requires constant attention exact implies not only demanding but getting what one demands. exacts absolute loyalty

Examples of demand in a Sentence

Noun The committee is considering her demand that she be given more time to complete the study. The workers said they would not end the strike until their demands were met. The demand for low-income housing is increasing as the economy gets worse. We are seeing an increased demand for hospital beds. The company increased production to meet demand. Verb The customer demanded a refund. Parents have demanded that the teacher resign. The reporter demanded to see the documents. I demand to know what is going on here! “Come here at once!” he demanded. “Why won't you answer me?” she demanded. The situation demands immediate action.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hopes were high that the shelters would be built in 2021, but skyrocketing material costs and the intense demand for construction contractors left him struggling to fill a budget gap. al, 16 Jan. 2022 The demand for single-family rentals appears to counter housing advocates and the City of Boston’s efforts to tackle the region’s housing shortage. Cameron Sperance,, 16 Jan. 2022 The tension between the demand for flexibility and the costs of committing to it entirely is likely to grow. Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2022 Given the high demand, some patients will continue to wait. Jonathan Reiner, CNN, 15 Jan. 2022 Both the newness of the drug and the high demand amid surging case counts has led to its scarcity. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Jan. 2022 As cases of this highly contagious variant surge, so has the demand for high quality face masks, such as N95s and other medical-grade masks. Kayla Hui,, 14 Jan. 2022 At the time, Panioto countered that the pandemic has driven up the demand for mental health services, which Wheeler provides. Don Stacom,, 14 Jan. 2022 Because of Peacemaker‘s rave reviews from critics and audiences, the demand for season two continues to grow. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Indeed, Pym is master of the human comedy writ small, and her novels demand a narrator attuned to that spirit, a quiet mood of restrained, subtle irony. Washington Post, 16 Jan. 2022 Emerging trends, too, demand our attention: the large-scale energy transition, advances in space travel and the combination of bioscience and massive computing power to unlock a revolution in medicine, to name a few. Almar Latour, WSJ, 15 Jan. 2022 Employers, who provide health coverage for nearly 160 million Americans, can demand this information to reduce their healthcare costs and raise wages. Fortune, 14 Jan. 2022 What if one, or both, of Gobert or Mitchell demand a trade? Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Jan. 2022 The owner should demand a full examination of the organization from top to bottom. Mike Preston,, 12 Jan. 2022 Among them is to have the city take the lead in collecting trash and having Republic Services pay for costs incurred, demand Republic credit customers for the month of December, and investigate legal actions against the waste hauler. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Jan. 2022 For these niche skillsets, demand far outstrips supply, putting the ball in the jobseeker’s court. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 12 Jan. 2022 Cybercriminals demand payment in exchange for restoration, often threatening to sell or leak information if the ransom is not paid. Jesse Leavenworth,, 10 Jan. 2022

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of demand


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for demand


Middle English demaunde, demande "question, request, claim," borrowed from Anglo-French, noun derivative of demander, demaunder "to ask a question, claim as due" — more at demand entry 2


Middle English demaunden, demanden "to ask a question, ask, claim as due," borrowed from Anglo-French demander, demaunder, borrowed from Medieval Latin dēmandāre "to entrust, send, send word of, send instructions (to), make a claim on," going back to Latin, "to entrust, hand over (to), lay a duty on," from de- de- + mandāre "to hand over, deliver, order" — more at mandate entry 1

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Time Traveler for demand

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The first known use of demand was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near demand

de mal en pis



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Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Demand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for demand



English Language Learners Definition of demand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a forceful statement in which you say that something must be done or given to you
: a strong need for something
: the ability and need or desire to buy goods and services



English Language Learners Definition of demand (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say in a forceful way that something must be done or given to you : to say that you have a right to (something)
: to say or ask (something) in a very forceful way
: to require (something)


de·​mand | \ di-ˈmand How to pronounce demand (audio) \

Kids Definition of demand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a forceful expression of what is desired a demand for money
2 : something claimed as owed He presented a list of demands.
3 : an expressed desire to own or use something The demand for new cars is up.
4 : a seeking or state of being sought after Good teachers are in great demand.


demanded; demanding

Kids Definition of demand (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to claim as a right I demand an apology.
2 : to ask earnestly or in the manner of a command The sentry demanded the password.
3 : to call for : require The situation demands attention.
on demand
: when requested or needed Payment is due on demand.



Legal Definition of demand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a formal request or call for something (as payment for a debt) especially based on a right or made with force a shareholder must first make a demand on the corporation's board of directors to act— R. C. Clark a written demand for payment
2 : something demanded any demands against the estate — see also claim
on demand
: upon presentation and request for payment


transitive verb

Legal Definition of demand (Entry 2 of 2)

: to ask or call for with force, authority, or by legal right : claim as due on any issue triable of right by a jury, a party may demand a jury trialFederal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 38(b)

Other Words from demand

demandable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on demand

Nglish: Translation of demand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of demand for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about demand


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