de·​mon | \ ˈdē-mən How to pronounce demon (audio) \
variants: or
plural demons or daemons

Definition of demon

1a : an evil spirit angels and demons
b : a source or agent of evil, harm, distress, or ruin the demons of drug and alcohol addiction confronting the demons of his childhood
2 usually daemon : an attendant (see attendant entry 2 sense 1) power or spirit : genius
3 usually daemon, mythology : a supernatural being whose nature is intermediate between that of a god and that of a human being
4 : one that has exceptional enthusiasm, drive, or effectiveness a demon for work Doug, putting like a demon, had birdies on the third and sixth …— Fred Tupper
5 daemon : a software program or process that runs in the background A mailer daemon installed on an e-mail system can respond to a piece of incorrectly addressed e-mail by generating an automated message to the sender that the message was undeliverable.— J. D. Biersdorfer

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Other Words from demon

demonian \ di-​ˈmō-​nē-​ən How to pronounce demon (audio) \ adjective

Examples of demon in a Sentence

only in rare cases is the ancient rite of exorcism performed to cast out a troublesome demon a man who was finally able to conquer his demons and kick his drug habit
Recent Examples on the Web Dimension Studio, in collaboration with Vicon motion capture systems has released a sneak preview of short film AKUMA about a samurai meeting his demon. Cathy Hackl, Forbes, 23 May 2021 But will our demon-killing title character be rewarded with a happy ending? Chuck Barney, Detroit Free Press, 3 Apr. 2021 Former vengeance demon Anya returns to her ways after being left at the altar by one of Buffy’s best friends, Xander Harris. Gabrielle Sanchez, Vulture, 12 May 2021 Political ad man Fred Davis, who was behind the demon sheep ad, now works for Cox. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2021 But writing about the Manning case didn’t exorcize this particular demon for Don DuPay. oregonlive, 3 May 2021 Two advances would be crucial to solving Maxwell’s demon. Quanta Magazine, 22 Apr. 2021 Viewers are left to wonder what Hector's former comrade Isaac (Adetokumboh M'Cormack), who ended season 3 by amassing his own demon army, might have to say about this. Christian Holub,, 16 Apr. 2021 At this point in the series, Henry, afflicted by the otherworldly manipulation of Hiram Epps (Supernatural demon Christopher Heyerdahl), has already shot a police officer to death. Ariana Romero,, 11 Apr. 2021

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for demon

Middle English, "evil spirit," borrowed from Late Latin daemōn "evil spirit, pagan deity, idol," going back to Latin, "supernatural being, spirit intermediate between humans and gods," borrowed from Greek daimon-, daímōn "superhuman power, variably evil or beneficent, intervening in human affairs, fate" (Homeric), "personal spirit, bringing luck or ill, that accompanies an individual," "spirit intermediate between humans and gods" (Plato), "evil spirit" (New Testament), probably from dai-, stem of daíomai, daíesthai "to divide, allocate" + -mōn, deverbal noun and adjective suffix — more at tide entry 1

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Time Traveler for demon

Time Traveler

The first known use of demon was before the 12th century

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Statistics for demon

Last Updated

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Demon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for demon



English Language Learners Definition of demon

: an evil spirit
informal : a person who has a lot of energy or enthusiasm
: something that causes a person to have a lot of trouble or unhappiness


de·​mon | \ ˈdē-mən How to pronounce demon (audio) \

Kids Definition of demon

1 : an evil spirit : devil
2 : a person of great energy or enthusiasm a speed demon


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