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

Louisville Metro police have closed several downtown streets once again as the department braces for another counterprotest at the site of Occupy ICE’s ongoing demonstration against the federal immigration policy. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Downtown streets close again for another Occupy ICE counterprotest," 14 July 2018 Tens of thousands of people gathered in London for a series of demonstrations against the president’s visit. Jill Colvin And Jonathan Lemire,, "Trump praises May after throwing barbs, then meets the queen," 13 July 2018 Tens of thousands of people gathered in London for a series of demonstrations against the president’s visit. Washington Post, "Trump pulls diplomatic backflip, praising May after barbs," 13 July 2018 The biggest protest in U.K. history was a demonstration against the Iraq War in February 2002, but George W. Bush was not in the country at the time. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Everything You Need to Know About Trump’s Controversial U.K. Visit," 12 July 2018 Mass demonstrations against voter fraud in the December parliamentary elections thronged Russian cities and spooked the Kremlin. Daniel Beer, New York Times, "Does Vladimir Putin Speak for the Russian People?," 6 July 2018 Farmers staged demonstrations against the moratorium. Philip Issa, Fox News, "Iraq bans farming summer crops as water crisis grows dire," 5 July 2018 In other news, many of your neighbors took on that sweltering heat this weekend to join protests and demonstrations against ICE. Aubrey Nagle,, "City turns out for ICE protests, how to steal a house in Philly | Morning Newsletter," 2 July 2018 Led by Mijente, a national Latinx political organization, the demonstration began at Chicano Park before heading downtown. Kate Morrissey,, "Ten arrested in protest over Operation Streamline and family separation," 2 July 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

8 Sep 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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to make amends

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