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

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 Victor believed these were the doings of a demon, but his wife knew Henry was behind them and despised him for it. Erica Gonzales, ELLE, 29 May 2022 If some singers are said to possess the voice of an angel, then Gilbert Gottfried’s voice might be compared to that of a demon. Andrew R. Chow, Time, 13 Apr. 2022 Is this van's driver, Kevin, some sort of chaos demon — maniacally grinning in the front seat, happily cruising down the Utah highway as Jen whips herself into a righteous fury in the back? Jodi Walker,, 10 Jan. 2022 The Numarine founder has long been a speed demon on the water—including years of racing—so this seems like a pivotal moment. Kevin Koenig, Robb Report, 1 July 2022 Last month, Sink was asked by Tudum what modern day song would potentially save Sink’s Stranger character, Max Mayfield, from the certain death sentence of encountering this seasons’ most lethal killer demon, Vecna. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 2 June 2022 The unidentified demon chasing these two kills Defender Strange after stabbing him twice. Chris Smith, BGR, 9 May 2022 This reporter should be a speed demon who posts the news immediately and then hits the streets to find the story behind the police report. Sun Sentinel, 17 June 2022 Payne switched the setting from New Jersey to Nebraska, rewrote the ending and made Tracy more of a demon. Tom Perrotta, New York Times, 31 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near demon

demolition derby


demon drink

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Demon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for demon


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

More from Merriam-Webster on demon

Nglish: Translation of demon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of demon for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about demon


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