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 \ -​ziŋ-​lē How to pronounce demoralizingly (audio) \ 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

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 Doing so would have demoralized his fellow prisoners and would have been a violation of the Navy’s Code of Conduct. Brian Brinker, Fox News, "Trump Nixed Statement, John McCain Leaves Behind Complicated Legacy," 27 Aug. 2018 Still, a president who demoralizes his own vice president invariably has trouble inspiring a nation. Peter Baker, New York Times, "Was Jimmy Carter the Most Underrated President in History?," 5 June 2018 The terrain wasn’t likely to get any easier for the GOP Congress member, with Democrats energized and Republicans demoralized. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Democrats can win a whole lot of House seats in Pennsylvania," 28 Mar. 2018 This is why so many people were demoralized earlier this week. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "The NBA is Broken, But Not Because of DeMarcus Cousins," 5 July 2018 It isn’t helped by the inappropriate conduct and speech of public figures, which degrades this country and threatens to demoralize our children. Joe Lieberman, WSJ, "A Holiday for the Rule of Law," 17 May 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

14 Feb 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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