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

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Other Words from demand


demandable \ di-​ˈman-​də-​bəl How to pronounce demandable (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 During the on-demand broadcast, top professional athletes and sportscasters will present these honorees, along with the top three finalists and the athlete of the year for each sport. USA TODAY, "Southeast Tarrant County High School Sports Awards launches," 23 Nov. 2020 But digital video recorders and on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime reduced its appeal. Ron Hurtibise,, "From ‘must have’ to ‘don’t need’ — A fond farewell to Black Friday products we once loved | PHOTOS," 23 Nov. 2020 Of Starting Over’s first-week units, 75,000 comprise album sales, 25,000 comprise SEA units (equaling 33.01 million on-demand streams of the set’s songs) and 3,000 comprise TEA units. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "AC/DC’s ‘Power Up’ Charges In at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart," 22 Nov. 2020 And studios typically keep 80 percent of premium on-demand revenue, while ticket sales from theatrical releases are split roughly 50-50 between studios and theater companies. Nicole Sperling, New York Times, "Hollywood’s ‘We’re Not in Kansas Anymore’ Moment," 22 Nov. 2020 During the on-demand broadcast, top professional athletes and sportscasters will present these honorees, along with the top three finalists and the athlete of the year for each sport. Jason Hoffman, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati High School Sports Awards are back. Here are the details.," 20 Nov. 2020 The set comes with a free year of iFit, a fitness subscription that gives you access to live and on-demand workouts and classes (normally $468). Leila Najafi, NBC News, "9 best dumbbells to add to your home workout routines," 20 Nov. 2020 With premium video on demand no longer an experiment, Universal’s ‘Croods’ sequel is a preview for how movies will be released after the pandemic subsides. Los Angeles Times, "A guide for movies to watch this holiday season," 20 Nov. 2020 During the pandemic, figuring out why certain movies still get released exclusively in theaters, while others are put on streaming or on-demand, even as others are postponed, isn’t always easy. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "With “Wonder Woman 1984,” Hollywood is trying a new marketing technique: honesty," 19 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The president's aides also threatened to demand a recount in Wisconsin. John Fritze, Detroit Free Press, "Elections newsletter: Biden wins presidency," 8 Nov. 2020 His campaign has filed lawsuits in several states including Michigan, and plans to demand recounts in some close races. CNN, "We have a winner -- but election challenges await. Here's what to expect this week," 8 Nov. 2020 The president's aides also threatened to demand a recount in Wisconsin. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Biden wins: Democrat who vowed return to 'normalcy' defeats Trump in cliffhanger election," 7 Nov. 2020 The campaign filed a similar suit in Michigan, filed a separate lawsuit in Georgia, and plans to demand a recount in Wisconsin. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Trump campaign wins legal battle in Pennsylvania to oversee vote counting," 5 Nov. 2020 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., continues to demand $2.2 trillion, and while Trump’s negotiators have signaled a willingness to inch further in her direction, a significant gap remains. Andrew Taylor,, "Second stimulus check updates: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Senate to vote on ’targeted’ coronavirus aid package," 8 Sep. 2020 If McGrath’s departure indeed ends an unwanted distraction, the pandemic continues to demand much of the governor’s attention. Jean Marbella,, "Maryland Gov. Hogan sought ‘seamless’ transition to new chief of staff with longtime associate. His pick lasted 11 weeks," 29 Aug. 2020 While European oil company CEOs have announced plans to transition from oil to natural gas and eventually to climate-friendlier forms of energy, the American oil industry continues to demand government bailouts and protections. Chris Tomlinson,, "Oil companies following in coal’s footsteps," 28 Aug. 2020 Blake's family continues to demand justice for him, too., "This Is Rusten Sheskey, The Kenosha Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake 7 Times," 27 Aug. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for demand

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Demand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for demand


How to pronounce demand (audio)

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

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

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