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 an uptick in demand from sommeliers and cocktail crafters can help bring more labels to market. Washington Post, "What goes perfectly with nibbles and snacks? Sherry, baby.," 10 Jan. 2020 In the thick of any disaster, financial assistance is always what is most in demand. NBC News, "How to help Australia bushfire survivors, firefighters and wildlife," 7 Jan. 2020 The local figures are more volatile than national data, and single events, such as hurricanes, plant shutdowns, or temporary swings in demand for a particular product, can have outsize effects on state economies. Alex Tanzi / Bloomberg, Time, "Economies of 9 States Expected to Shrink in 2020, Fed Bank Says," 3 Jan. 2020 More frequent and powerful wildfires, hurricanes and floods are putting backup generators in high demand. Bob Tita And Jim Carlton, WSJ, "Blackouts, Disasters Give Generators a Sales Boost," 2 Jan. 2020 Even as overseas markets continued growing, a decadelong slide in domestic demand for champagne worsened in 2018, with sales in France falling by 6.5 million bottles., "The French just aren’t quaffing champagne the way they once did," 31 Dec. 2019 All blood types are needed, with Type O the most in-demand. Christopher Roth, azcentral, "Huge blood drive planned Sunday in Tempe as donors needed this time of year," 30 Dec. 2019 This is the reason why the Indian workers are always in demand abroad. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "At one of India’s oldest liquor companies, digital marketing is key to “relentless modernisation”," 27 Dec. 2019 As has been the case at many other retailers, animal prints such as leopard were in demand, as was cold-weather gear. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Amazon says more than 5 million people signed up for Prime in one week this holiday season," 26 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb PCAs skilled at managing breathing equipment often demand $30 an hour or more from their clients, who pay the difference out of pocket. Globe Staff,, "For families of ALS patients, providing home care can be an infinite challenge," 11 Jan. 2020 Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven is demanding a full investigation amid allegations that the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed in Iran might have been hit by an Iranian missile. Rafaela Lindeberg,, "Sweden’s PM Wants Swift and Complete Probe Into Iran Plane Crash," 10 Jan. 2020 His stint as athletic director ended in 1992 after friction with then-president John DiBiaggio, who demanded Perles pick one job or the other. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "George Perles, former Michigan State football coach and board member, dies at 85," 8 Jan. 2020 Castro, 45, was among the youngest in the running at a moment when the party's ascendant left wing is demanding generational change. Paul J. Weber, Anchorage Daily News, "Julián Castro drops out of race for Democratic presidential nomination," 2 Jan. 2020 China has also agreed to stop forcing U.S. companies to hand over technology and trade secrets as a condition for gaining access to China's vast market, demands that had frustrated many U.S. businesses. Arkansas Online, "Trump says he'll sign first-step China trade deal on Jan. 15," 1 Jan. 2020 After nearly a decade’s absence, the Ford Ranger returned to the pickup wars, offering value and utility in a package that doesn’t demand a $25,000 expansion of your garage. Mark Phelan,, "Corvette, Ranger and Telluride triumph as Free Press car, truck and SUV of the year," 29 Dec. 2019 His case caught the eye of President Trump, who demanded Gallagher's rank be restored and ordered that the Navy halt its internal review of Gallagher's actions that resulted in the high-profile war crimes case. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Eddie Gallagher's fellow SEALs describe him as 'toxic,' 'evil' in leaked videos," 28 Dec. 2019 Mandatory overtimes means deputies have no time to recuperate from a demanding job in a stressful environment, leaving them fatigued and more likely to make mistakes, deputies have said. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Denver Sheriff Department spends $26,624 a day on overtime — a decrease from recent years," 24 Dec. 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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Demand.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 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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