de·​mon·​ize | \ ˈdē-mə-ˌnīz How to pronounce demonize (audio) \
demonized; demonizing; demonizes

Definition of demonize

transitive verb

: to portray (someone or something) as evil or as worthy of contempt or blame : vilify But the Senate hearings have a broader purpose than exposing I.R.S. sins. They are a central element in a campaign by Congressional Republicans to demonize the tax agency, already the least loved of all Government bureaucracies.— John M. Broder The point is not to demonize business leaders. Their reasons for not hiring make eminent sense, given the incentives of the marketplace and the imperative to remain competitive.— Zachary Karabell Violence in the media has become the whipping boy of choice in these hypocritical times. It's easier to demonize a movie screen than to deal with the thorny issues of crime, racism, drugs, poverty and gun control.— Peter Travers For those who would forge a new environmental ethic, there is a constant temptation to demonize technology and deify nature.— Gina Maranto

Other Words from demonize

demonization \ ˌdē-​mə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce demonize (audio) \ noun, plural demonizations
In the Washington of Clinton and Gingrich, Dole and Buchanan, … the demonization of one's political foes has reached an epic frenzy. — Stryker McGuire and David Ansen

First Known Use of demonize

1817, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of demonize was in 1817

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Cite this Entry

“Demonize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on demonize

Nglish: Translation of demonize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of demonize for Arabic Speakers


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