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


emasculate, paralyze, undo, unman, unnerve, unstring



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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

Bears coach Matt Nagy met the media Friday afternoon at Halas Hall, describing his emotions and explaining his team’s shortcomings from Thursday night’s demoralizing 10-3 loss to the Packers. Dan Wiederer,, "‘You can’t panic’: Matt Nagy still catching his breath after the Bears’ jarring loss to the Packers," 6 Sep. 2019 Kashmiris are feeling especially demoralized and cornered now. New York Times, "India’s Move in Kashmir: More Than 2,000 Rounded Up With No Recourse," 23 Aug. 2019 Their relentless winning has demoralized everyone else. Jon Wertheim,, "10 Big Questions Ahead of the 2019 U.S. Open," 24 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, the demoralized Bulldogs limped into the Sugar Bowl against Texas and fell behind by 21 points during a 28-21 defeat. Edgar Thompson,, "2019 College Football Countdown: No. 3 Georgia looks to break through, win SEC," 22 Aug. 2019 The fact that harassers, abusers, and other bad actors seem to flourish on the platform without consequence is demoralizing, to say the least, and not only because users have been clamoring for some kind of decisive action for years. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Lil Nas X became Twitter’s CEO for a day and didn’t ban the Nazis," 29 July 2019 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

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

10 Oct 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



English Language Learners Definition of demoralize

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


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

Comments on demoralize

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suitable to be imparted to the public

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