de·​mise | \ di-ˈmīz How to pronounce demise (audio) \

Definition of demise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : death
b : a cessation of existence or activity
c : a loss of position or status
2 : the conveyance of an estate
3 : transfer of the sovereignty to a successor


demised; demising

Definition of demise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to convey by will or lease demise an estate
2 : to transmit by succession or inheritance
3 obsolete : convey, give

intransitive verb

2 : to pass by descent or bequest the property has demised to the king's heirs

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Synonyms & Antonyms for demise

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of demise in a Sentence

Noun … invited visitors to play a game in which points are awarded to those who predict the demise of yet another overhyped dot-com. — Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone, 14 Sept. 2000 This elegant little book is essential reading for anyone interested in the demise, the terminal silliness, of our culture. — John Irving, New York Times Book Review, 6 Apr. 1997 Like books, board games appear headed for imminent demise at the hands of cathode-ray terminals. — Will Manley, Booklist, 1 Mar. 1995 She had no property at the time of her demise. The musician met an untimely demise. We have not had truly local news coverage since the town newspaper's demise three years ago. Losing this game will mean the team's demise. Verb our much beloved, recently demised leader
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Premature predictions of the demise of America’s dollar, however, are as familiar as the fall foliage in New England. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of September 28," 2 Oct. 2020 But their demise was sudden, unexpected, far too quick and left me with nothing to take their place so soon. Star Tribune, "Want to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Vote.," 21 Sep. 2020 Pesticides, erosion and paving over land all contribute to soil’s degradation or demise. Eric Roston,, "Animal Populations Fell by 68% in 50 Years and It’s Getting Worse," 9 Sep. 2020 The demise of New York City has often been greatly exaggerated, however, and many in the past wondered whether the city could bounce back after the 1918 flu pandemic, the city’s near bankruptcy in the 1970s, and the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, "What will happen to Big Apple’s core? Clues from reopening.," 19 Aug. 2020 TikTok ban, how the platform’s breakout ‘content creator’ stars are reacting, and how the app’s possible demise stacks up against the fate of erstwhile apps like Vine. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "Sweatpants craze and DIY patios: What the pandemic has taught design-led businesses—so far," 18 Aug. 2020 But the demise of the legacy retail chain has been rapid since the company filed for bankruptcy in 2018. cleveland, "Great Northern Sears, the last Sears in Ohio, is closing for good," 5 June 2020 Fighting over money doesn't help MLB remains a $10 billion industry, and its demise is far from imminent, particularly with local TV contracts such as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 25-year deal, signed in January 2013, that’s valued at $8.35 billion. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Labor fights, new competition, invisible players: Why MLB may be sports' biggest loser during COVID-19 pandemic," 5 June 2020 But their bodies’ painful symptoms would have warned them that their demise was imminent, giving them time to try to escape. Rachel Lance, Smithsonian Magazine, "The New Explosive Theory About What Doomed the Crew of the ‘Hunley’," 10 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ruby, a lifelong Californian, takes the country’s demise seriously. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Sterling Ruby Weighs In on His Fashion Week Film, Building a Brand, and His ‘More Fears Than Hopes’ for the U.S.A.," 30 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demise.' 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 demise


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for demise

Noun and Verb

Middle English dimise, from Anglo-French demise, feminine of demis, past participle of demettre to dismiss, from Latin demittere to send down, from de- + mittere to send

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Time Traveler for demise

Time Traveler

The first known use of demise was in the 15th century

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Statistics for demise

Last Updated

17 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Demise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for demise


How to pronounce demise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of demise

: an end of life
: the end of something that is thought of as being like a death


de·​mise | \ di-ˈmīz How to pronounce demise (audio) \

Kids Definition of demise

1 : death sense 1 And often the court waited until the demise of two or three potters before searching out their replacements.— Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard
2 : an ending of existence or activity the demise of a newspaper
de·​mise | \ di-ˈmīz How to pronounce demise (audio) \
demised; demising

Legal Definition of demise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to convey (possession of property) by will or lease the demised premises



Legal Definition of demise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the conveyance of property by will or lease : lease
2 : the transmission of property by testate or intestate succession
3 : charter of a boat in which the owner surrenders completely the possession, command, and navigation of the boat

called also bareboat charter

History and Etymology for demise


Anglo-French, from feminine past participle of demettre to convey by lease, from Old French, to put down, give up, renounce, from Latin demittere to let fall and dimittere to release

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