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

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Other Words from demon

demonian \di-​ˈmō-​nē-​ən \ adjective
demonization \ˌdē-​mə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun
demonize \ˈdē-​mə-​ˌnīz \ 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

Almost one year later, having overcome the demons of the first flight, Koenigsmann and the other engineers returned to Omelek with the second Falcon 1 rocket. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Inside the eight desperate weeks that saved SpaceX from ruin," 21 Sep. 2018 In the past, Williams has often looked to be exorcising personal demons in the latter stages of major tournaments — the power in her strokes matched by the fire in her eyes. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Serena Williams, Enjoying Every Moment, Is Back in the Wimbledon Final," 12 July 2018 Classes include monk, wizard, crusader, demon hunter, necromancer, and barbarian. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Diablo is getting a ‘full-fledged’ mobile RPG," 2 Nov. 2018 Season-four premiere; the Arrowverse’s group of misfits welcomes a new member, Constantine the demon hunter, who helps the team clean up a magical mess; Nate and Rory go on an adventure; Nate faces someone from his past; 9 p.m. Monday on KSTW. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "TV Picks for Monday: ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’," 22 Oct. 2018 Also, players can invade each other’s games a la Dark Souls, taking over demons and trying to kill each other. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Battlefield V teases its battle royale mode, Deep Silver acquires TimeSplitters," 17 Aug. 2018 Mothman has that, plus Richard Gere, plus Laura Linney, PLUS a giant winged moth demon. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "The 9 Best Horror-Movie Wikipedia Pages (According to People Who Read Them)," 13 June 2018 The bishops represent the vocalist’s demons, and the protective yellow seen in the music video provides him a sliver of hope. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Here Are the Lyrics to Twenty One Pilots' 'Jumpsuit'," 11 July 2018 Those demons, in part self-inflicted but most not, had haunted Houston since childhood, and their revelation will distress as well as shock. Graham Ambrose,, "Darkness and light in Whitney Houston documentary," 4 July 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.

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

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Statistics for demon

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demon

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

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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

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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

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a nest or breeding place

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