de·​mote di-ˈmōt How to pronounce demote (audio)
demoted; demoting

transitive verb

: to reduce to a lower grade or rank
demote a student
was demoted from major to captain
: to relegate to a less important position
a pitcher demoted to the bullpen
demotion noun

Examples of demote in a Sentence

Teachers can choose to demote a student to a lower grade. The army major was demoted to captain.
Recent Examples on the Web The lawsuit contends that the two flight attendants, despite being initially assigned to the Dodgers’ charter flights, were later demoted within the program, and that Quezada was eventually removed without explanation. Melissa Noel, Essence, 2 Nov. 2023 Former Chiefs William Bratton and Charlie Beck chose to demote assistant chiefs to commanders. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 17 Oct. 2023 She even got demoted from the track to full professorship at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote Stat News’ Damian Garde and the Boston Globe’s Jonathan Saltzman in 2020. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Oct. 2023 Thorne’s appointment as starter meant Ashford, who started at quarterback a majority of the 2022 season, would be demoted. Ainslie Lee |, al, 2 Sep. 2023 As Abdul-Rahim sees it, this problem will not be solved until Meta's business model changes and Meta is financially motivated to demote inflammatory content. Ryan Waniata, Ars Technica, 20 Oct. 2023 Jeanie Ward-Waller, a deputy director at Caltrans, claims she was demoted for objecting to highway expansions, which are intended to ease traffic but have been shown to induce more driving, Politico’s Debra Kahn reports. Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct. 2023 Assistant chiefs serve under the authority of the chief and can be demoted without explanation. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 17 Oct. 2023 Bad luck had forced him out of two previous races minutes before the start, and speculation was rife that he might be demoted after some disappointing performances. Hikari Hida, New York Times, 28 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


de- + -mote (as in promote)

First Known Use

circa 1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of demote was circa 1891

Dictionary Entries Near demote

Cite this Entry

“Demote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​mote di-ˈmōt How to pronounce demote (audio)
demoted; demoting
: to reduce to a lower grade or rank
demotion noun

More from Merriam-Webster on demote

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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