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 The Max grounding has significantly cut the number of airline seats for sale in an environment with strong travel demand. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Southwest: No plans for a 737 Max fare sale to woo skittish flyers when plane returns," 23 Jan. 2020 Trump reacts Trump was in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, but weighed in on Twitter with a single demand. NBC News, "Trump's Senate impeachment trial: What happened on Day 1," 22 Jan. 2020 The financial results come at a time when a slump in demand for hydraulic fracturing services in the United States is hurting peers in the sector. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Baker Hughes closes 2019 with a profit while peers report huge losses," 22 Jan. 2020 The process would address the ongoing shortage of donor sperm in the UK, argue the authors, which has led to Britain importing commercially donated sperm to cope with demand from couples struggling to conceive. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, "Men should be allowed to donate sperm after death, study says," 21 Jan. 2020 But despite these increases, the supply of available organs hasn’t kept pace with demand. Lauren Caruba,, "Two San Antonio hospitals are national leaders in transplants from live donors," 20 Jan. 2020 Jefferson’s accession to the presidency coincided with demands for higher payments and the impressment of a U.S. Navy frigate, the USS George Washington, by the Dey of Algiers as a courier vessel. John Yoo, National Review, "Lessons from the United States’ Showdown with the Barbary Pirates," 15 Jan. 2020 The obsession grew so quickly that production struggled to keep up with demand as White Claw sales were expected to top $1.5 billion in 2019, the company's senior vice president of marketing told CNN. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "A White Claw factory is opening in Arizona this summer. Here's what you need to know," 8 Jan. 2020 Big game hacks Travelex is not the only victim being hit with big ransom demands. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Unpatched VPN makes Travelex latest victim of “REvil” ransomware," 8 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Days later, at the urging of the Iraqi prime minister, the Parliament endorsed a measure demanding the expulsion of foreign forces from Iraq, which in the minds of most Iraqis meant American troops. New York Times, "Protesters Mass in Baghdad, Demanding U.S. Leave Iraq," 24 Jan. 2020 One problem the Cowboys had last year was their nose tackles not demanding double teams. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 under-the-radar free agents the Cowboys should target, including a run-plugging, pocket-pushing nose tackle," 24 Jan. 2020 And consumers show little sign of demanding any particular non-BPA product. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "To replace controversial plastic additive BPA, a chemical company teams up with unlikely allies," 23 Jan. 2020 In a letter to Wolf, Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott joined Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin in demanding more information on the department’s visa vetting system, given that Shamrani was allowed to return to the U.S. after being radicalized. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Republican senators demand DHS to explain why Pensacola shooter was granted a visa," 23 Jan. 2020 Racine’s lawsuit detailed concerns about the high prices demanded by the Trump hotel, as expressed by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, an event planner working for the inaugural committee. Andrew Harris, Fortune, "Trump inaugural committee ‘grossly’ overpaid Trump hotel, according to a new lawsuit," 22 Jan. 2020 Called Operation Dixie, the unionization effort was led by black women demanding better working conditions in the tobacco industry. USA TODAY, "More pigeon hats, cushion cash, Chaka Khan: News from around our 50 states," 20 Jan. 2020 With a landlord demanding too much rent, café owner A.J. O’Neil announced he was done with the café and ready for a new challenge. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Tiny Michigan nonprofit is taking on DTE — and it could have huge impact on the company," 16 Jan. 2020 The following month, a letter signed by 10 MIT staffers and professors demanded to know the extent of the school's financial ties with the disgraced financier. Fox News, "Epstein gave $850G to MIT; three top officials knew he was convicted sex offender, report finds," 12 Jan. 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

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Demand.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 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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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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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