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 Focusing solely on weaknesses can be demoralizing, leading to disengagement and burnout. Hudson Garrett, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 The comments were particularly demoralizing for me while raising a newborn in the early days of the pandemic. Beth Ann Mayer, Parents, 13 Feb. 2024 Yet as much as any Protestant, Manzoni was aware of and disgusted by the frequently corrupt and demoralizing history of the papacy. David Harsanyi, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 But that should not allow users the free reign to criticize and demoralize. Kristina Behr, Parents, 16 Jan. 2024 Data creates the illusion of control, but the reality is often confusing, distracting, or downright demoralizing. Samantha Kleinberg, STAT, 8 Jan. 2024 Micromanaging with a purpose Saban explained the art of paying attention to details without demoralizing his staff or team: Saban wants to know what his players are doing in their workouts each day of the summer, down to the specific lift and weight. Fortune Editors, Fortune, 11 Jan. 2024 Doing all that work and not getting paid is demoralizing, Westwood said. Rachel Lerman, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2023 These meetings were embarrassing and demoralizing, and the people in these meetings treated me like an inconvenience. Elizabeth Endicott, Scientific American, 19 Dec. 2023 See More

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 Feb. 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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