de·mon | \ ˈdē-mən \
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 \ adjective
demonization \ˌdē-mə-nə-ˈzā-shən \ noun
demonize \ˈdē-mə-ˌnīz \ transitive verb

Synonyms for demon


devil, fiend, ghost, ghoul, imp

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Now, Midwesterners will learn all about crafting the French tuck, the art of avocado toast, and the power of facing your emotional demons — all courtesy of the Fab Five's wise ways., "Queer Eye Season 3 Will Tackle A Whole New Part Of America," 13 July 2018 The Selecao, meanwhile, have failed to exorcise the demons of 2014, falling short again in their attempts to reclaim their status as football's greatest with this latest loss., "Neymar Dives, Belgium High-Fives & Lukaku Thrives - Twitter Reacts to Incredible World Cup Clash," 6 July 2018 As the Earp heir, Wynonna is fated to protect the hamlet of Purgatory — and the world — from the demons that bedevil the town. Maureen Ryan, New York Times, "A Cult Show’s Recipe for Success: Whiskey, Twitter and Complex Women," 6 July 2018 Sometimes, sports allows someone from halfway around the world to shake the demons, find a focus and dream as big as dreams get. Bryce Miller,, "Round 1: Will anger, desire spur a young San Diego boxer to spotlight?," 22 June 2018 Worse yet, by leaving all the demons out in the dark, Obama and company allowed a thousand conspiracy theories to flower, on the right but also on the left. Kevin Baker, The New Republic, "Why America needs truth and reconciliation after Trump," 17 May 2018 Wellesley slots in at No. 5 after exorcising the demons of Division 2 finals past, beating Canton to win its first title since 2006 after losing three of the last four. Karl Capen,, "Mansfield is the new Division 1 king in boys’ basketball," 21 Mar. 2018 So while most of us aren’t worried about demons, momentary death or the bubonic plague, today it’s considered a polite gesture. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "The Crazy Reasons Why We Say, “Bless You” When Someone Sneezes," 18 May 2018 According to the restaurant’s manager, an ex-con with demons of his own, some class members fall back into lives of crime, while others can't handle the discipline need to run a gourmet restaurant. John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press, "Oscar-nominated short documentaries tackle heavy topics," 15 Feb. 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

Phrases Related to demon

like a demon

speed demon

the demon drink

Statistics for demon

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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



English Language Learners Definition of demon

: an evil spirit

: 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 \

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 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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

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

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!