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

Synonyms for demon


devil, fiend, ghost, ghoul, imp

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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

Even that may not have been as fun as speeding across a rainbow road, fighting hell demons as a cube creature. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Tiesto, Dzeko, Post Malone & Preme Find Adventure in 'Jackie Chan': Watch," 2 July 2018 Córdova keeps the flame on high as Lulu and her sisters strike risky deals and face demons in an effort undo their mistake. Meg Medina, New York Times, "Dark Magic and Other Escapes in These Summer Y.A. Novels," 1 June 2018 The horror movie, centered on a family battling demons that have supersonic hearing, sparked a flood of mentions on social media and glowing reviews after its premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in March. Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, "‘A Quiet Place,’ a Nearly Silent Movie, Makes Noise Ahead of Its Opening," 3 Apr. 2018 Those demons apparently reared their ugly heads again on Jan.18, 2017, when, according to a criminal complaint, Kirk exploded in a drunken rampage inside his ex-wife's home in the 40-block of Huntington Road. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ex-Delafield restaurateur who trashed his ex-wife's home during a drunken rampage gets probation," 21 Mar. 2018 On his right arm, beneath scars from where heroin needles punctured his veins, is a tattoo of St. Michael fighting demons. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "A teacher shot heroin 500 days in a row. His passion for theater helped him get clean.," 28 Feb. 2018 That's not to say that the director shies away from the singer's other demons., "Whitney Review: A Big Twist That Obscures An Even Bigger Life," 5 July 2018 At Switzerland’s museum dedicated to Eastern cultures, depictions of monsters, devils and demons by Indian, Japanese, Persian and Swiss artists come together to startle visitors this summer. Sarah Maiellano, USA TODAY, "The best museum exhibits in Europe this summer," 18 June 2018 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

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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Phrases Related to demon

like a demon

speed demon

the demon drink

Statistics for demon

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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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

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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