de·​mor·​al·​ize di-ˈmȯr-ə-ˌlīz How to pronounce demoralize (audio)
demoralized; demoralizing; demoralizes

transitive verb

: to cause to turn aside or away from what is good or true or morally right : to corrupt the morals of
: to weaken the morale of : discourage, dispirit
were demoralized by the loss
: to upset or destroy the normal functioning of
foreclosures were further demoralizing an already desperate real-estate marketF. D. Roosevelt
: to throw into disorder
demoralization noun
di-ˈmȯr-ə-ˌlī-zər How to pronounce demoralize (audio)
demoralizingly adverb

Examples of demoralize in a Sentence

the mere sight of the forbidding cliffs demoralized the climbers we refused to be demoralized by our humiliating defeat and vowed to come roaring back the following week
Recent Examples on the Web Employees of color were demoralized to hear they were hired to fill quotas. Amanda Gerut, Fortune, 20 May 2024 Things are at white heat in all that part of the country and the citizens are almost demoralized. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 15 May 2024 As demoralizing as the defeat was, the Mavericks quickly moved past their frustration and turned their focus to Game 5. Steven Johnson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 14 May 2024 For his troops to threaten Kharkiv, again, and send miles of cars full of terrified civilians fleeing down the highways, again, and turn Ukraine’s second largest city into a shell of itself, again, could demoralize Ukrainians and its allies. Constant Méheut, New York Times, 12 May 2024 The cost of living is particularly pronounced in California where inflation, high interest rates and escalating rents are demoralizing the working and middle classes. Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2024 In town, the visits grew demoralizing and progress less and less visible. Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, 11 Apr. 2024 The incident was nothing short of perverse: Israel targeted and killed people trying to make a dent in the imminent famine that Israel itself has engineered as part of its strategy to demoralize and destroy, in whole or in part*, the Palestinian population. Longreads, 5 Apr. 2024 Dancers accused Star Garden management of introducing arbitrary rules and implementing high drink prices and cover fees in bad faith in an effort to deter customers, demoralize dancers and weaken resolve in contract negotiations. Suhauna Hussain, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'demoralize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1793, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of demoralize was circa 1793

Dictionary Entries Near demoralize

Cite this Entry

“Demoralize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


de·​mor·​al·​ize di-ˈmȯr-ə-ˌlīz How to pronounce demoralize (audio)
: to make bad or evil
: to weaken in spirit or discipline
fear demoralized the army
demoralization noun
demoralizer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on demoralize

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