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 Among the other pieces that the antiquities broker recognized from the 2008 feature on the Lindemanns’ Palm Beach home were the same stone sculptures of demon and god heads photographed years later in their daughter’s San Francisco mansion. Nicole Sadek, Washington Post, 15 Aug. 2022 North Indian Hindus celebrate the royal homecoming of Lord Rama following a victorious battle, while South Indian Hindus commemorate Lord Krishna’s defeat of a demon. Pavithra Rajesh, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Nov. 2021 Tim Burton’s strange sensibility comes to life on stage in this musical about a quirky teenager who befriends a pair of friendly ghosts who’ve hired a demon to scare off the family that’s moved into their old house. Joey Morona, cleveland, 14 Sep. 2022 Eleven and Max are part of an unstoppable crew out to save the world from a brain-melting demon,. Alex Apatoff, Peoplemag, 9 Sep. 2022 In 1990, Gaiman partnered with famed writer Terry Pratchett for Good Omens, about an angel and demon who reluctantly team up to stop the apocalypse. Milan Polk, Men's Health, 11 Aug. 2022 The film told the story of a young girl possessed by a demon and the priest tasked with exorcising the evil presence from her body. Sophie Hanson, Harper's BAZAAR, 4 Aug. 2022 In Demonschool, the human and demon worlds intersect in a visual way, where one is 2D and the world of the fantastic springs to life in 3D. Wired, 16 July 2022 Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, and Aasif Mandvi will return as demon detectives Kristen Bouchard, David Acosta, and Ben Shakir in Evil Season 3. Mark Heim |, al, 12 June 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

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Demon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 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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