dem·​on·​stra·​tion | \ˌde-mən-ˈstrā-shən \

Definition of demonstration 

1 : an act, process, or means of demonstrating to the intelligence a demonstration of how to prune a tree : such as

a(1) : conclusive evidence : proof a demonstration of her guilt

(2) mathematics : derivation sense 5

b : a showing of the merits of a product or service to a prospective consumer a vacuum cleaner demonstration

2 : an outward expression or display a demonstration of compassion

3 : a show of armed force

4 : a public display of group feelings toward a person or cause peaceful demonstrations against the government anti-war demonstrations

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Other Words from demonstration

demonstrational \-​shnəl, -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for demonstration


display, exhibition, flaunting, show

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Examples of demonstration in a Sentence

I went to a sculpture demonstration last weekend. One of the instructors gave a demonstration of how to prune a tree. Would you mind giving us a demonstration so that we can see how the machine works? He brought along a copy of the software for demonstration. Students took part in several nonviolent demonstrations against the government. The latest tests are a clear demonstration that the vaccine works. Many people sent cards and flowers in demonstration of their sympathy.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Protesters burn an American flag and a U.S. one-hundred dollar bill during a demonstration on the anniversary of the U.S. embassy seizure, in Tehran on Sunday. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "Iranian President Promises to ‘Break’ New U.S. Sanctions," 5 Nov. 2018 Originally, rumors suggested that a full-on working prototype of the phone would be unveiled, but recent reports have suggested the demonstration will be software heavy, with a UI and features based on Android but developed in concert with Google. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Unless Samsung is trolling us, a folding Galaxy phone is finally coming this week," 5 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, at least two people in the village have been killed by the Israeli military, including Ahed’s uncle Rushdie Tamimi, 31, who was shot in the back by live ammunition during a demonstration in 2012. Alexia Underwood, Vox, "How Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old Palestinian activist, became an international icon," 3 Aug. 2018 Area students created the murals and will continue working on them during the demonstration, Sharp said. Phil Diehl,, "Protesters to return with weekend gun show," 13 July 2018 In 1988, three people were killed when a new Airbus A320 jetliner carrying more than 130 people crashed into a forest during a demonstration at an air show in Mulhouse, France., "This day in history," 26 June 2018 During Monday's demonstration, the outside temperature was in the low 80s but the temperature inside the SUV was over 100 degrees. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Kansas removes lawsuit fear for rescuers of children, pets trapped in hot cars," 25 June 2018 Several flights of the unique craft, said to be the smallest, lightest, simplest helicopter yet flown, were made during the first public demonstration of the tiny craft, disclosed by The Times last Feb. 28. Scott Harrison,, "From the Archives: The Pinwheel helicopter," 19 June 2018 Jordanian protesters shout slogans and raise a national flag during a demonstration outside the Prime Minister's office in the capital Amman late on Friday. Kareem Khadder And Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, "Jordan's prime minister steps down after mass protests," 4 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for demonstration

Middle English demonstracioun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French demonstration, demustracioun, borrowed from Latin dēmonstrātiōn-, dēmonstrātiō "action of pointing out, description, explanation" (Late Latin, "deduction, proof"), from dēmonstrāre "to indicate, describe, show" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at demonstrate

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for demonstration

The first known use of demonstration was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for demonstration



English Language Learners Definition of demonstration

: an act of showing someone how something is used or done

: an event in which people gather together in order to show that they support or oppose something or someone

: an act of showing or proving something


dem·​on·​stra·​tion | \ˌde-mən-ˈstrā-shən \

Kids Definition of demonstration

1 : an outward expression (as a show of feelings) a demonstration of affection

2 : an act or a means of showing a cooking demonstration

3 : a showing or using of an article for sale to display its good points

4 : a parade or a gathering to show public feeling


dem·​on·​stra·​tion | \ˌdem-ən-ˈstrā-shən \

Medical Definition of demonstration 

: an act, process, or means of demonstrating to the intelligence especially : a proof by experiment a demonstration of the neutralization of an acid by a base

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Comments on demonstration

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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