demon

noun

de·​mon ˈdē-mən How to pronounce demon (audio)
variants or
plural demons or daemons
1
a
: 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
demonian 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 Determined to protect his loved ones, Jake and his new K-9 partner Argos delve into a violent underbelly of crime where Jake confronts corrupt officials, uncovers a perilous drug trafficking ring and battles his own inner demons. Alex Ritman, Variety, 18 May 2024 Future Wonder Woman helmer Patty Jenkins made her feature directorial debut here, portraying Wuornos’ story with unflinching realism, but the film belongs to Theron for her fiercely committed portrait of a dangerous woman harboring intense emotional demons. Kevin Jacobsen, EW.com, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for demon 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'demon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near demon

Cite this Entry

“Demon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/demon. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

demon

noun
de·​mon
variants or daemon
1
: an evil spirit
2
usually daemon : an accompanying power or spirit : genius
3
usually daemon : demigod sense 1
4
: one that has a lot of energy
a demon for work
demonic
di-ˈmän-ik
adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on demon

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