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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for demise

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Danielle noted the demise of Quibi yesterday and the past 24 hours has led to an outpouring of post-mortems. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Who wore it best? Rating Big Tech’s product debuts," 23 Oct. 2020 The demise of cities is overstated, experts said, but lasting changes will become more apparent in the years to come, especially in the work force. David W. Chen, New York Times, "What Will New York Real Estate Look Like Next Year?," 23 Oct. 2020 The demise of small businesses would devastate Black communities according to Main Street Alliance and Color of Change, the two groups that conducted the poll, released Friday. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, "Black-owned businesses headed for disaster without federal aid, poll finds," 19 Oct. 2020 Fortunately, humans, who may have been responsible for the demise of the large mammals, developed a taste for avocados and assumed the duties of their transportation and cultivation. Barry Estabrook, WSJ, "Two Books on Creatures Invasive and Incredible," 9 Oct. 2020 Robust brutality would be one way to describe London’s Martin Eden, which, at least since the demise of proletarian realism, is far from canonical in the English-speaking world. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, "Self-Made Men," 6 Oct. 2020 Cohan was freed up to slice and dice more zombies due to the untimely demise of her other show, Whiskey Cavalier. Dalton Ross,, "Lamenting the loss of Whiskey Cavalier with Lauren Cohan," 2 Oct. 2020 Things aren’t much better for retail properties, with the demise of a number of leading department stores. Washington Post, "Not so fast, urban exodus: Coronavirus could make New York and San Francisco great places to live again," 22 Sep. 2020 The unfortunate demise of Pandit Jasraj Ji leaves a deep void in the Indian cultural sphere. Gary Dinges, USA TODAY, "Legendary Indian classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj dies at 90: reports," 17 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about demise

Time Traveler for demise

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for demise

Last Updated

29 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Demise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on demise

What made you want to look up demise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!