demoralize

verb
de·​mor·​al·​ize | \ di-ˈmȯr-ə-ˌlīz How to pronounce demoralize (audio) , ˌdē-, -ˈmär-\
demoralized; demoralizing; demoralizes

Definition of demoralize

transitive verb

1 : to cause to turn aside or away from what is good or true or morally right : to corrupt the morals of
2a : to weaken the morale of : discourage, dispirit were demoralized by the loss
b : to upset or destroy the normal functioning of foreclosures were further demoralizing an already desperate real-estate market— F. D. Roosevelt
c : to throw into disorder

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Other Words from demoralize

demoralization \ di-​ˌmȯr-​ə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce demoralization (audio) , ˌdē-​ , -​ˌmär-​ \ noun
demoralizer \ di-​ˈmȯr-​ə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce demoralizer (audio) , ˌdē-​ , -​ˈmär-​ \ noun
demoralizingly \ di-​ˈmȯr-​ə-​ˌlī-​ziŋ-​lē How to pronounce demoralizingly (audio) , ˌdē-​ , -​ˈmär-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for demoralize

Synonyms

emasculate, paralyze, undo, unman, unnerve, unstring

Antonyms

nerve

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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

Kauffmann gave way to sophomore righty Jeff Criswell, who made easy work of the demoralized Red Raiders in the final three innings. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan baseball's stunning journey hits final stage: On brink of championship," 21 June 2019 Does Facebook know how to change its newsfeed algorithm to demoralize one set of voters and motivate another? Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The Move to Reclaim Privacy," 18 June 2019 Leaderless, weakened, and demoralized, the RUF began to retreat. Janine Di Giovanni, The New York Review of Books, "Sierra Leone, 2000: A Case History in Successful Interventionism," 7 June 2019 After a series of internal investigations and journalistic exposes, both denominations are reeling from scandals that have stained their reputations and demoralized the faithful. Daniel Burke, CNN, "Why the nation's two largest religious groups are talking about sex abuse this week," 10 June 2019 The company behind Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price had been in tumult for years, as declining toy sales and the loss of key licenses devastated its share price and demoralized its workforce. Paul Ziobro, WSJ, "Barbie, Hot Wheels Go to Hollywood in Mattel CEO’s Turnaround Plan," 17 Apr. 2019 The lesson for Brennan’s generation of C.I.A. officers was a demoralizing one — that serving the president could sometimes mean acting as political cannon fodder when things went wrong. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows," 27 June 2018 When Thomas was later confirmed to the Supreme Court, the countless women who’d watched Hill—and maybe Hill herself—were demoralized, flattened even. Celeste Ng, Glamour, "Celeste Ng Reflects on Our Era of Rage—and Illuminates the Path Forward.," 21 Dec. 2018 Republican leaders want Kavanaugh confirmed at almost any costs, fearful that pulling his nomination would demoralize their voters ahead of the midterms. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh is Jeff Flake’s most important test," 3 Oct. 2018

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

circa 1793, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for demoralize

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demoralize

The first known use of demoralize was circa 1793

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More Definitions for demoralize

demoralize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of demoralize

: to cause (someone) to lose hope, courage, or confidence : to weaken the morale of (a person or group)

demoralize

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

Kids Definition of demoralize

: to weaken the spirit or confidence of Yet another defeat demoralized the team.

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More from Merriam-Webster on demoralize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with demoralize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for demoralize

Spanish Central: Translation of demoralize

Nglish: Translation of demoralize for Spanish Speakers

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