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 scenes of Tokyo in Shun’s flashbacks beautifully demonstrate the show’s impressive visual effects by evoking Blade Runner’s tech-noir sensibilities. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "YouTube’s tech-noir series Origin is Lost… in space," 14 Nov. 2018 Some of the latest cases demonstrate complicity by Seattle’s late archbishops Thomas Connolly and Raymond Hunthausen, Pfau said. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Seattle Archdiocese pays nearly $7 million to settle men’s claims that six priests abused them as boys," 13 Nov. 2018 Your country has demonstrated its fortitude and resilience by rebuilding your communities following the devastating Cyclone Winston two years ago. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Recalls Queen Elizabeth's Visits to Fiji in His Speech at Tonight's State Dinner," 23 Oct. 2018 In 2015, when Microsoft unveiled the very first public iteration of the HoloLens, product managers demonstrated the augmented reality headset by asking users to re-wire an actual light switch, live, guided by a remote professional. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Dynamics 365 Remote Assist finally makes the HoloLens useful for anyone," 18 Sep. 2018 Meanwhile, Brayden's already demonstrating an interest in construction (or at least in tape measures), like his dad. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Christina El Moussa's Daughter Looks so Much Like Her, It's Flipping Crazy," 9 Aug. 2018 To demonstrate our fillets’ versatility Chef Loomis, a Michigander who trained by apprenticing in restaurants and who joined Top of the Market following a stint at the Gaslamp’s Searsucker, chose first to sear and then roast both fish. Nicole Sours Larson,, "White fish & vegetables," 9 July 2018 But even small donations demonstrate how an unexpected alliance of interests has emerged between the home-sharing companies and groups battling government regulation of property. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "How conservative ‘property rights’ groups are battling cites’ Airbnb rules," 14 Aug. 2018 The Conners’ stories demonstrate that families can always find common ground through conversation, laughter, and love. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Everything to Know About the 'Roseanne' Spinoff 'The Conners'," 2 Aug. 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

30 Nov 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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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