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

In anticipation of a similar demand, several Canadian cannabis companies have recently struck vaping deals., "Vaping illness in US gives Canada pause as legal marijuana vaping sales near - The Boston Globe," 17 Sep. 2019 This comes after a summer of record-high avocado prices that was fueled by a growing demand, a smaller California crop and seasonal production in Mexico. Editors, USA TODAY, "Antonio Brown's accuser meets with NFL, UAW goes on strike: 5 things you need to know Monday," 16 Sep. 2019 But lavender promises something those plants don’t, something very much desired in this age of fractious politics, climate dread and unceasing demands on our time: escape. Steven Kurutz, New York Times, "Why Does Everything Smell, So Peacefully, of Lavender?," 14 Sep. 2019 Amazon is a climate laggard Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, the group behind the protest, have named three specific demands: 1. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Even Jeff Bezos can’t afford to ignore his employees’ climate-change demands," 13 Sep. 2019 To fill this demand, an enormous network of parts companies has sprung up across the United States. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, "To Build an AR-15," 12 Sep. 2019 The better the numbers, the higher the applicant demand, the more revenue an institution will be able to earn. David Klein, Quartz, "The US doesn’t have a student debt problem. It has a college tuition crisis," 12 Sep. 2019 Talented left-leaning reporters, editors, and columnists expect (or demand) editorial independence and high standards. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "ThinkProgress Was Always Doomed," 11 Sep. 2019 Marleanna Hall, executive director of the Resource Development Council, an industry trade group, said Alaska should help supply the nation’s rising demand for minerals, replacing foreign imports. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Conservationists and hunters denounce state-financed mining road across the northern Alaska wilderness," 11 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

According to those with knowledge of the investigation, state prosecutors have demanded Trump’s personal returns, as well as the returns from Trump Organization dating back to 2011 from accounting firm Mazars USA. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Manhattan District Attorney's Office Subpoenas 8 Years Of Trump's Tax Returns," 17 Sep. 2019 The protesters demanded that Microsoft stop doing business with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), staging a sit-in that forced the store to close its doors early. Fox News, "Dozens of anti-ICE protesters arrested at NYC Microsoft store," 15 Sep. 2019 At an army camp near the village of Heff Shirmal, the soldiers demanded that Mr. Dar disclose where his brother was hiding. Suhasini Raj, New York Times, "Abused by Soldiers and Militants, Kashmiris Face Dangers in Daily Life," 15 Sep. 2019 Female students demanded the right to wear skirts instead of being forced to wear pants. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 12 Sep. 2019 Denmark, for example, demands law firms be 90% owned by lawyers qualified or registered there. The Economist, "The economic policy at the heart of Europe is creaking," 12 Sep. 2019 Members of Parliament also demanded the government release communications between the prime minister and senior advisers on both Operation Yellowhammer and the government’s decision to suspend Parliament, which took effect on Monday night. Alex Morales, Fortune, "The U.K. Government’s Worst Case Brexit Scenario Looks a Lot Like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’," 12 Sep. 2019 At the same podium a week earlier, Dantonio demanded more toughness and execution from an offense that barely cracked 300 total yards, 100 rushing yards and had one TD as a unit in the season-opening 28-7 win over Tulsa. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football's Elijah Collins: Starting RB job 'everything that I've lived for'," 11 Sep. 2019 Kevin Assemi demanded by email that Wonderful commit to paying the full bonus for 2019, and gave Wonderful until Sept. 4 to reply. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: A nasty fight erupts between a major grower and the giant Wonderful Pistachios firm," 16 Sep. 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

7 Oct 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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