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 But the company is not alone in apparently complying with Russian demands to redraw the map of the region. Hadas Gold, CNN, "Apple slammed by Ukraine for marking Crimea as part of Russia," 28 Nov. 2019 China has also been successful in getting Apple to tailor the iPhone ecosystem to suit Beijing’s demands., "The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Russia over its seizure of Crimea, and both still view the peninsula as part of Ukraine.," 28 Nov. 2019 The researchers found that parking revenue per airport passenger has dropped between 3 and 7 percent per year since ride-hail showed up, a trend that suggests that parking demand at airports might be cut in half by 2035. Wired, "Yet Another Challenge for Air Travelers: Finding Your Uber," 28 Nov. 2019 But soon, Dunning and Whelan werehelping fill a niche demand in Louisville, where the vintage fashion and streetwear trend was taking off as locals sought outcurated spaces to find rare pieces of clothing. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "From Instagram to brick-and-mortars, vintage streetwear fashion has blown up in Louisville," 27 Nov. 2019 As Asia’s unicorns grow bigger, many are looking at dual listings to ensure there’s enough demand to absorb their sizable offerings. Shuli Ren | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Dear Alibaba, Thank You for the $10 Trillion Gift," 27 Nov. 2019 With less demand this fall as immigration slowed down, homeless people are now gathering there to receive similar services. Silvia Foster-frau,, "San Antonio homeless lift their spirits find a home in song," 27 Nov. 2019 Bloodsworth said there’s been significant demand from newcomers to learn about the city’s past and the new book will prove interesting for history buffs. Lisa Maria Garza,, "Clermont history book research yields 1920s silent film — ‘it takes you back’," 27 Nov. 2019 This year, turkey prices per pound have dipped due to surplus in the market as ongoing trade talks and tariffs constrain demand abroad. Dana Ferguson, Twin Cities, "In Minnesota, it’s a Thanksgiving turkey presentation, not a pardon," 27 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kim has demanded Trump come up with new, acceptable proposals to salvage the nuclear negotiations by year’s end. Washington Post, "North Korea conducts artillery firing at Kim’s order," 25 Nov. 2019 Kim has demanded the United States come up with new measures to salvage the nuclear talks by year’s end., "Before boarding his plane in Hanoi for a flight to Washington, Esper called North Korea’s response to the drill’s postponement “not as positive as we would have liked.”," 22 Nov. 2019 The gala demanded a dynamic look, and Schiaparelli’s creative director Daniel Roseberry’s design was appropriately unorthodox. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Michelle Obama Wears a Work of Art to the National Portrait Gallery," 18 Nov. 2019 In the year since 16-year-old Greta Thunberg started striking to demand action on climate change, the movement has grown fast. Glamour, "Jane Fonda Says Greta Thunberg Inspired Her to Step Up Her Climate Activism," 12 Nov. 2019 Soft robotics and wearable computers, both technologies that are safe for human interaction, will demand new types of materials that are soft and stretchable and perform a wide variety of functions. Michael Ford, The Conversation, "Soft robots of the future may depend on new materials that conduct electricity, sense damage and self-heal," 7 Nov. 2019 The black maternal mortality crisis demands an urgent and nuanced response. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "8 Ways We Can Actually Reduce Black Maternal Mortality," 31 Oct. 2019 The March 2018 murder of Franco, a 38-year-old black politician from one of Rio’s poorest and most violent communities, shocked Brazilians who have since demanded an explanation for the crime. Walter Brandimarte,, "Brazil’s Bolsonaro Furious as His Name Is Cited in Murder Case," 30 Oct. 2019 His casting as the title character in Walter Hill’s Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) was a milestone for Hollywood (some studios at the time demanded that Hill cast a white actor in the lead role). David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Oscars Finally Find Their Rightful Winners," 28 Oct. 2019

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

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Demand.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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