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 demand (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 Prospective chicken owners nationwide were running into a similar problem as demand for chicks, especially those that would grow up to be egg-laying hens, skyrocketed at the beginning of the pandemic. Washington Post, "Her pet chickens were a source of emotional support during the pandemic. Then, the predators came.," 29 Mar. 2021 Commercial landlords in Manhattan entered 2020 with optimism, riding a steady demand for office space, record asking prices in some neighborhoods and the largest construction boom since the 1980s. Matthew Haag, New York Times, "Remote Work Is Here to Stay. Manhattan May Never Be the Same.," 29 Mar. 2021 Trades, trash talk, and backstage maneuvering have made leagues like the N.F.L. and the N.B.A. year-round concerns, driving up demand for more content. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Rise of the Athlete Podcaster," 29 Mar. 2021 And there is demand for more merger prospects, as more than 550 SPACs globally are looking for acquisition targets, Refinitiv said. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "When SPACs Come Calling, 5 Things a Startup CFO Needs to Know," 29 Mar. 2021 There was a demand for typists and stenographers, and The Augusta Chronicle was full of advertisements (some placed by the newspaper itself) offering good pay for good workers. Bill Kirby, ajc, "Meet the woman who started Augusta's 1st business school," 28 Mar. 2021 In Westover Hills, Baptist plans to open a new women’s and children’s center to serve the growing demand for maternal and pediatric services in that area. Laura Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Express-News Exclusive: Baptist hospital to open Southeast San Antonio's first maternity unit," 28 Mar. 2021 Fish, meanwhile, is seeing demand for qualified electricians and plumbers., "New chairman of Mass. Competitive Partnership aims to use its power to reshape local economy," 28 Mar. 2021 In forcing companies to get on board with hybrid teams and work-from-anywhere policies, the pandemic may increase demand for flexible office space in the long run. Sarah Todd, Quartz, "WeWork’s plans to go public expose the danger of SPACs," 28 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Teams competing in March Madness have a huge platform from which to build on the actions of the U.S. government and galvanize the American people to demand accountability from corporations that do business in China. Nury Turkel, National Review, "NCAA Basketball Teams Should Take a Stand against Uyghur Genocide," 30 Mar. 2021 The second is the Black Lives Matter movement, which has inspired people to demand to be treated with respect and dignity. CBS News, "Amazon workers in Alabama voting on biggest union push in company's history," 29 Mar. 2021 Whether Rintaro continues with these models will likely demand on bandwidth. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can't drive to San Francisco? The city's restaurants are coming to you," 29 Mar. 2021 Miko can spontaneously start dancing or turn into a clown in the middle of an interview, depending on what the viewers demand. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "The talk show host of the future is a 3D video game character on Twitch," 28 Mar. 2021 Women—and their doctors—need to demand their rightful place in this critical area of cardiac research. The New Yorker, "The Mail," 22 Mar. 2021 Buyers deserve the language and knowledge to demand higher standards from the industry. Amine Anoun, Forbes, "Top Questions To Ask AI Vendors In 2021: Part Two," 17 Mar. 2021 Jade Arter said people need to demand justice from power structures or else there won’t be accountability for police violence. Sara Tabin, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utahns protest George Floyd’s death with car caravan," 7 Mar. 2021 And the Black Lives Matter movement, which has inspired people to demand to be treated with respect and dignity. Joseph Pisani, Star Tribune, "Amazon faces biggest union push in its history," 12 Feb. 2021

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

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Demand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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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