de·​mise | \di-ˈmīz \

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

1 : die, decease

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

death, expiration, expiry, termination

Synonyms: Verb

check out, conk (out), croak [slang], decease, depart, die, drop, end, exit, expire, fall, flatline, go, kick in [slang], kick off [slang], part, pass (on), pass away, peg out [chiefly British], perish, pop off, step out, succumb

Antonyms: Noun

alpha, beginning, birth, commencement, creation, dawn, genesis, inception, incipience, incipiency, launch, morning, onset, outset, start

Antonyms: Verb

breathe, live

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Examples of demise in a Sentence


… 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.


our much beloved, recently demised leader
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Among those thrown into financial distress as a result of the Land Bank’s demise were Warren’s grandfather, Samuel Stevens, and Samuel Adams’s father, Deacon Adams. Gerald J. Russello, WSJ, "‘Founding Martyr’ Review: The Hero on Bunker Hill," 30 Sep. 2018 So much for the predictions of the demise of the Washington State football program. Scott Hanson, The Seattle Times, "After Cougars’ big win in opener, WSU coach Mike Leach says, ‘We need to get a week better’," 4 Sep. 2018 But here’s the piece of Chang’s demise that troubles me. Adrian Walker,, "Another BPS superintendent has come and gone. Now what?," 1 July 2018 At the time of Mariah's demise, Bushmaster is far from the scene of the crime, back home in Jamaica, recovering from explosive wounds sustained near the season's end. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Luke Cage's' Breakout Star on Bringing Season 2's Villain to Life," 27 June 2018 The rumors of Quintana’s demise have been greatly overstated. Michael Beller,, "The Table Setter: Let's Embrace the Glory of Mike Trout ... Again," 4 June 2018 Pictures surfaced on the Internet of the park’s demise. Gabrielle Russon,, "Disney's former River Country water park will become hotel, timeshares," 31 May 2018 The National Enquirer's in-print published acknowledgment of Walker's demise didn't appear until the March 12 issue of the tabloid. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Valparaiso University has notable links with National Enquirer," 22 Mar. 2018 The system's demise meant individual ISPs were left to develop their own policies for handling complaints from copyright owners. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "AT&T steps up copyright enforcement, kicks customers off network," 6 Nov. 2018

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


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


see demise entry 1

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Statistics for demise

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demise

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

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More Definitions for demise



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 \

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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on demise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with demise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for demise

Spanish Central: Translation of demise

Nglish: Translation of demise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of demise for Arabic Speakers

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