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

Moments like that, in which semi-surreal details are happened upon rather than contrived, demonstrate Van Sant at his most easeful, and the languor is sustained by Jonah Hill, as Donnie, a rich and sickly soul who becomes John’s A.A. sponsor. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Gus Van Sant’s Semi-Surreal “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot”," 13 July 2018 Putin from a position of strength & demonstrate there will be a price to pay for his ongoing aggression. CBS News, "Russia dismisses indictment as attempt to "spoil" Trump-Putin meeting," 13 July 2018 Redish and his colleagues have, however, published five studies based on the restaurant row and video gallery experiments, some that further demonstrated commonalities between rodents and humans in decision-making. Maya Miller, Scientific American, "Why It’s So Hard to Junk Bad Decisions—Edging Closer to Understanding “Sunk Cost”," 12 July 2018 The Norwegian death-punk band Turbonegro has a fandom that demonstrates both how bands provide grounds for participatory communal experiences that transcend them and how inseparable those communal experiences are from commercial markets. Nancy Baym, WIRED, "Book Excerpt: How Music Fans Built the Internet," 10 July 2018 In keeping with this idea, one team of researchers published findings in 2015 that demonstrated the warmer the climate, the stripier the zebras. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Settling a Heated Debate—Do Zebra Stripes Keep These Animals Cool?," 10 July 2018 Preparedness is key, and the industry has demonstrated its commitment through participation in programs like the Downstream Natural Gas Information Sharing and Analysis Center, as well as real-world training exercises like the NERC GridEx. Don Santa, Houston Chronicle, "Commentary: Administration’s action on coal, nuclear solves a problem that doesn’t exist," 5 July 2018 More than one video has surfaced in the past few weeks that demonstrate how to cut watermelon into slices using — drumroll, please — dental floss. Olivia Harrison,, "We've Been Cutting Watermelon Incorrectly Our Whole Lives," 28 June 2018 The center, in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran, has the capacity to teach 4,000 people a year using technology like driving simulators and machines that demonstrate the importance of wearing seatbelts by simulating low-impact collisions. Sarah Algethami,, "Inside the Saudi Aramco Driving School for Thousands of Women," 22 June 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

21 Sep 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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