dem·on·strate | \ˈde-mən-ˌstrāt \
demonstrated; demonstrating

Definition of demonstrate 

transitive verb

1 : to show clearly demonstrate a willingness to cooperate must demonstrate mastery of the subject matter in order to pass the class The police demonstrated calm restraint during the riot.

2a : to prove or make clear by reasoning or evidence crowded classrooms that demonstrate the need for more schools in the area

b : to illustrate and explain especially with many examples demonstrate a procedure

3 : to show or prove the value or efficiency of to a prospective buyer demonstrate a new kitchen gadget

intransitive verb

: to make a demonstration Allow me to demonstrate. crowds demonstrating for the right to vote

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Synonyms & Antonyms for demonstrate


document, establish, prove, substantiate, validate


disprove, rebut, refute

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Choose the Right Synonym for demonstrate

show, manifest, evidence, evince, demonstrate mean to reveal outwardly or make apparent. show is the general term but sometimes implies that what is revealed must be gained by inference from acts, looks, or words. careful not to show his true feelings manifest implies a plainer, more immediate revelation. manifested musical ability at an early age evidence suggests serving as proof of the actuality or existence of something. a commitment evidenced by years of loyal service evince implies a showing by outward marks or signs. evinced not the slightest fear demonstrate implies showing by action or by display of feeling. demonstrated their approval by loud applause

Examples of demonstrate in a Sentence

Each student must demonstrate mastery of the subject matter in order to pass the class. Employees must demonstrate competence in certain skills before they can work independently. The medication will not be marketed until it is demonstrated to be safe. The latest test results clearly demonstrate that the vaccine works. The group's failed efforts demonstrate how difficult it is to convince people to change their habits. They have demonstrated a willingness to negotiate. Several people will be demonstrating traditional farming techniques. The instructor demonstrated the correct procedure for pruning a tree. Would you mind demonstrating how the machine works?
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Recent Examples on the Web

The council so far has demonstrated strong bipartisan support, including the approval of $20 million in early 2017 to pay for planning and $55 million in January to pay for the first phase of construction. James Briggs, Indianapolis Star, "Mayor Joe Hogsett breaks ground on Indianapolis jail — months before council gives final OK," 12 July 2018 The tipping point was when retirees, demonstrating on April 18 against a social-security reform decreed by Mr. Ortega, were roughed up by thugs while police watched. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Russia in Central America, Again," 8 July 2018 Hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the country turned out to demonstrate against the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy, especially the separation of children from their parents at the border. NBC News, "Meet the Press - July 1, 2018," 1 July 2018 These educators, nominated by peers, have demonstrated excellence in promoting biliteracy. Laura Groch,, "North County School News, June 28," 28 June 2018 To reduce the cost and size, researchers have demonstrated an optical oscillator that only requires an operating turbine to function. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Spinning glass ball rejects light from one direction," 27 June 2018 Recent research has demonstrated the harmful effects of loneliness and social isolation on cognitive health, especially among older adults. Houston Chronicle, "Friends matter even more as we age," 15 June 2018 Dolphins, parrots, and primates, for example, have demonstrated the ability to learn about zero, while most humans can pick up the idea at around age 4. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Buzzy for Nothing: Bees Understand What Zero Is," 7 June 2018 As much of the discussion about Greta Gerwig’s film Lady Bird demonstrated, when women make art, there’s a tendency to suspect that their source of inspiration is autobiographical. Katherine Fusco, The Atlantic, "Hereditary and the Monstrousness of Creative Moms," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demonstrate.' 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 demonstrate

1548, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for demonstrate

borrowed from Latin dēmonstrātus, past participle of dēmonstrāre "to draw attention to, indicate, describe, show," from dē- de- + monstrāre "to point out, show" — more at muster entry 2

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Statistics for demonstrate

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demonstrate

The first known use of demonstrate was in 1548

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More Definitions for demonstrate



English Language Learners Definition of demonstrate

: to prove (something) by showing examples of it : to show evidence of (something)

: to prove (something) by being an example of it : to be evidence of (something)

: to show (a quality, feeling, etc.) clearly to other people


dem·on·strate | \ˈde-mən-ˌstrāt \
demonstrated; demonstrating

Kids Definition of demonstrate

1 : to show clearly He demonstrates a willingness to change.

2 : to prove or make clear by reasoning Galileo demonstrated that the earth revolves around the sun.

3 : to explain (as in teaching) by use of examples or experiments My science project demonstrates blood circulation.

4 : to show to people the good qualities of an article or a product demonstrate a new car

5 : to make a public display (as of feelings or military force) Marchers demonstrated for human rights.


dem·on·strate | \ˈdem-ən-ˌstrāt \
demonstrated; demonstrating

Medical Definition of demonstrate 

transitive verb

1 : to show clearly demonstrated the artery arteriographically

2 : to prove or make clear by reasoning or evidence

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Comments on demonstrate

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


one that holds something together

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