demon

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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from demon

demonian \ di-​ˈmō-​nē-​ən How to pronounce demonian (audio) \ adjective
demonization \ ˌdē-​mə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce demonization (audio) \ noun
demonize \ ˈdē-​mə-​ˌnīz How to pronounce demonize (audio) \ transitive verb

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

Dark Phoenix is about an idealistic man experiencing a woman’s trauma as a catalyst to confront his own demons. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Dark Phoenix Isn’t Quite As Bad As The Game of Thrones Finale, But It’s Close," 6 June 2019 Green, who’s had his own personal demons to deal with, apparently developed a relationship with World Peace after the athlete called him years later and asked him to lunch. Jemele Hill, The Atlantic, "The Turbulent Journey of Metta World Peace," 5 June 2019 Here is a creature immune to the mysteries of the universe revealing themselves before him, instead battling his own demons (ha) and just trying to get done with work as soon as possible. Tom Philip, GQ, "The Ultimate Guillermo del Toro Movie Is Now on Netflix," 4 May 2018 Adams went through his own personal demons after his brother died. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "Fresh off documentary, Orr basketball takes another victory lap," 16 Mar. 2018 Candid, gossipy and occasionally imperiled by demons, Margery Kempe was a 15th-century mystic and the author of a terrific medieval tell-all. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "10 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 As those who’ve been paying attention have come to expect, Foster’s performance is freighted with a tense, explosive dignity; Will is a good man undone by demons and his tragedy is his country’s. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "In ‘Leave No Trace,’ a father and daughter who break your heart," 27 June 2018 Often, Bhaskaran will embody a demon-type character with swathes of neon red creeping across his face. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Watch Fecal Matter’s Extreme, 3-Hour Beauty Routine in 7 Minutes," 28 Mar. 2019 The first novel introduces readers to a villager named Heloise who witnesses the brutality of the tyrannical Order, which nominally protects the world from wizards with the power to summon horrific demons. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Our favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2018," 21 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

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 daísthetai "to divide, allocate" + -mōn, deverbal noun and adjective suffix — more at tide entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about demon

Statistics for demon

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demon

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for demon

demon

noun

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

demon

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on demon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for demon

Spanish Central: Translation of demon

Nglish: Translation of demon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of demon for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about demon

Comments on demon

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

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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