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 In Huntsville, Thrive Alabama has teamed with the city and Huntsville Hospital to do drive-thru testing and the sites have seen high demand. Leada Gore |, al, "How long does it take to get coronavirus test results back?," 10 July 2020 Those two areas have seen especially high demand for testing in the past few weeks. Rachel Leingang, The Arizona Republic, "Ducey announces efforts to expand COVID-19 testing through lab capacity and new sites," 10 July 2020 Volaris began service to Guadalajara, Mexico’s third-largest city, three times a week July 2 — but then dropped one of the flights for the rest of the month because of a lack of customer demand. Randy Diamond Staff Writer,, "Pandemic cuts deeply into San Antonio-to-Mexico air travel," 10 July 2020 In anticipation of higher demand at the Lakes Edge site, some Riva Row rentals will be shifted to Northshore Park, including stand-up paddle boards and kayaks. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Township Notes: Riva Row Boat House closed another 2 weeks; concert series returns," 9 July 2020 Many factories that would have been temporarily idled for lack of demand shifted into supplying things such as masks and other necessary medical equipment. Jeremy Lott, Washington Examiner, "Supply chains to shift in the wake of coronavirus," 9 July 2020 Last week, county officials noted that the rate of spread was worrisome, that hospitalizations were trending up and that case investigations were being slowed by limited testing capacity in the face of rising demand. oregonlive, "Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington counties’ reopening plans on hold," 8 July 2020 Robette Ann Dias has been training people how not to be racist for nearly 20 years, but her organization’s services recently reached a new level of demand. Maura Judkis, Washington Post, "Anti-racism trainers were ready for this moment. Is everyone else?," 8 July 2020 Amazon has seen soaring demand during the pandemic as people stay home and look to its products and services as a lifeline for household essentials. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Amazon giving $500 million in one-time bonuses to front-line workers as a 'thank you'," 29 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Thousands of people went out on the streets of the capital, Sofia, to demand the resignation of Borissov and chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev, accusing them of corruption and links to criminal groups. Washington Post, "World Digest: July 11, 2020," 11 July 2020 Deputies repeatedly demand Liveringhouse to put his hands up as Liveringhouse continues approaching one of the deputies while aiming a gun at him. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, "MCSO body-camera video shows deputies kill man armed with two pistols," 10 July 2020 Under the national security law that went into effect last week, Hong Kong police can demand that online platforms and network providers take down content deemed a threat to China's security or restrict access to their services. Rishi Iyengar, CNN, "Hong Kong was a 'safe harbor' for tech companies shut out of China. Not anymore," 9 July 2020 Local orders may not demand use of masks within a private residence, while eating or drinking, in houses of worship, in voting locations, or outdoors where appropriate social distancing may be observed. Vivian Jones, Washington Examiner, "Tennessee counties mandate masks after Lee's executive order allowing it," 7 July 2020 Some albums demand ascetic listening, the kind that happens best in solitude or while wearing noise-canceling headphones. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Unfinished Business of a Young Rap Star," 7 July 2020 Top California Democrats demand state party stop taking money from police unions. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: Is it safe to get back on the bus? What about the ferry?," 7 July 2020 However, the federal rules also effectively demand that international students decide between attending at least some of their classes in-person or leaving the country to take all of their classes online. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "International students at UT Dallas must take in-person classes or face deportation, per new ICE guidelines," 7 July 2020 Protesters also marched in Oakland to demand justice for Salgado's killing. Autumn Schoolman, USA TODAY, "Oakland officials release details about fatal shooting on Erik Salgado, protesters demand justice," 11 June 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

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Demand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 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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Comments on demand

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