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


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From that moment on, they were inundated with calls, emails, media requests for interviews, every detail about the rescue on demand. National Geographic, "Meet the super climbers who came to the rescue on the 'Killer Mountain'," 12 June 2019 That, in turn, is weighing on demand for wheels and steel parts, washing machines and paint. ... Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Factories Throttle Back, Pressuring U.S. Economy," 9 June 2019 Additionally, in their 2018 report, a survey of music consumers in 18 countries found that 47% of time spent listening to on-demand music was on YouTube. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Music Is YouTube's Most Profitable Category, 'Crucial' to Bottom Line: Study," 7 June 2019 Starting July 9th, Uber will offer helicopter rides between JFK airport and Lower Manhattan that can be booked on demand through its app. Jon Porter, The Verge, "The Uber for helicopters is now Uber," 6 June 2019 For a date night on demand, stream these movies or seek them out in theaters. Elena Nicolaou,, "The Perfect Date Night (Or Netflix & Chill) Movies," 5 June 2019 After consumers buy pieces from the select group of influencers—Emi Suzuki, Sierra Furtado, Leonie Hanne, and Patricia Bright have also joined the roster—then their garments will be made on-demand and delivered within a few weeks. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Amazon Fashion's First-Ever Capsule Collection, The Drop, Is Here," 5 June 2019 This incremental approach, based on demand from clients and collaboration with retailers, differs from that of other designers who have dropped full plus collections all at once. Glamour, "Mary Katrantzou Is Expanding Her Brand Up to a Size 24—Here’s Why," 5 June 2019 The communications regulator said Monday that Tinder was included on a list of online services operating in Russia that are required to provide user data on demand to Russian authorities, including the FSB security agency. Nataliya Vasilyeva,, "Russia demands Tinder give user data - including messages - to secret services," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Trustees declined to look to expand the probe to earlier projects, but the Board of Governors demanded later that month that the investigation continue at the university’s expense. Annie Martin,, "UCF transferred nearly $100 million for construction improperly, investigation finds," 13 June 2019 The proposal also demands CBP ensure an interpreter is available during screenings if needed. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Democrats unveil bill to bolster care of migrants in Border Patrol custody," 12 June 2019 If Durant demanded a max-level deal in order to stay, would the Warriors oblige? Chris Mannix,, "How Kevin Durant's Achilles Injury Impacts His Free Agency," 11 June 2019 As police surround the car, Chris demands to speak to Smithereen CEO Billy Bauer (Topher Grace); tensions predictably mount from there. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Black Mirror is back for S5, but it might be running out of fresh ideas," 10 June 2019 The players thought that Jim East, a demanding, intense coach, was going to erupt. Mike Hutton,, "'It was more than just wins and losses for him': Jim East, Hall of Fame boys basketball coach at Merrillville, dies at 79," 10 June 2019 Bob Mackie, who designed Cher’s attention-demanding looks for decades, also won, for the show’s costumes. Michael Paulson, New York Times, "Who Won and What Happened at the 2019 Tony Awards," 9 June 2019 Her death in custody sparked nationwide outrage and protest, and her family was still demanding answers as recently as last month after new video of her traffic stop emerged. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A man went to resolve a DUI. He died at a prison days later.," 9 June 2019 Others have to ask and beg and plead and demand and protest and fight and pound their fists to hope to have a chance at feeling seen and heard. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Chris Long's retirement sparks student to write about race, privilege and allies," 8 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.

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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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Statistics for demand

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demand

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

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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

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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

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