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

Keep scrolling for more

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


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.


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Growing demand is pushing the industry into Africa and South America. Dyna Rochmyaningsih, Science | AAAS, "Courting controversy, scientists team with industry to tackle one of the world’s most destructive crops," 11 July 2019 In 2012, Amazon started a program called Career Choice to provide up to $12,000 in tuition and other costs for hourly employees to get certificates or associate degrees in high-demand fields like health care. Ben Casselman, New York Times, "Amazon’s Latest Experiment: Retraining Its Work Force," 11 July 2019 China is responding to the rising demand by building hundreds of new airports. Laura He, CNN, "British Airways bets on Beijing's brand new airport to tap China's aviation boom," 10 July 2019 Cuyamaca College has secured a $500,000 grant to build online career education programs to train students for high-demand jobs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges collectively get $1 million grant for online studies," 10 July 2019 From the beginning, Rolling Loud was a perfect storm of good timing, serendipitous geography, and unfulfilled demand. Briana Younger, The New Yorker, "The Quest for the Next Great Hip-Hop Festival," 10 July 2019 In the past couple of years, growing public demand for better-quality ingredients at restaurants convinced McDonald’s in 2018 to swap frozen for fresh burgers. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Remember Clancy’s Hamburgers? It's coming to the Bottleworks food hall on Mass Ave.," 9 July 2019 Most of all, investment in India is being held back due to the lack of aggregate demand, so that needs to be fixed in order to revive domestic investment. Jayati Ghosh, Quartz India, "“Investment” was mentioned over 30 times in India’s budget speech—but where will it come from?," 8 July 2019 ASRock didn't build enough of the X470D4U to meet demands, and it's currently sold out everywhere. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "I updated my crusty old Pentium G-based server—the results are worth sharing," 8 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The generals running Sudan since the fall in April of its dictator, Omar al-Bashir, reached a power-sharing accord with the pro-democracy movement that has been demanding an end to military rule. The Economist, "Politics this week," 13 July 2019 President Donald Trump abandoned his controversial bid to demand citizenship details from all respondents in next year's census Thursday, instead ordering federal agencies to compile the information using existing databases. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "'She is not a racist': Trump sides with Speaker Nancy Pelosi in spat with progressives," 12 July 2019 Democrats have been demanding information from the administration for months regarding its policies over the treatment of migrants at the southern border. NBC News, "House Judiciary Committee votes to authorize subpoenas for Trump officials," 11 July 2019 The average extra yield, or spread, that investors demand to hold U.S. investment-grade corporate bonds over Treasurys settled Wednesday at 1.13 percentage points, according to Bloomberg Barclays data. Sam Goldfarb, WSJ, "Stronger Inflation Data Lift U.S. Government-Bond Yields," 11 July 2019 The professors were fired by John R. Silber, the university’s president, but reinstated after protesting faculty members voted to demand Mr. Silber’s dismissal. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Andrew Dibner, Medical Alert Pioneer, Is Dead at 93," 11 July 2019 Trump has been demanding for months that the Fed cut interest rates, a move that probably would boost the economy and the stock market ahead of the 2020 election. Washington Post, "Trump has no plans to fire Fed Chair Powell ‘at the present time,’ Larry Kudlow says," 10 July 2019 In late June, Parker’s sister called in tears because someone was sending her social media messages with links to videos, demanding to know why her brother had participated in a hoax. Susan Svrluga,, "Now, the parents of Newtown are fighting back," 8 July 2019 So sore is this point that protesters over the past week have been demanding a purely proportional system. Alexander Sikorski, National Review, "Georgians Continue to Defy Putin, and the West Must Stand with Them," 28 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about demand

Statistics for demand

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demand

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on demand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with demand

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for demand

Spanish Central: Translation of demand

Nglish: Translation of demand for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on demand

What made you want to look up demand? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!