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

Definition of demote

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from demote

demotion \ -​ˈmō-​shən How to pronounce demotion (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for demote


break, bust, degrade, disrate, downgrade, reduce


advance, elevate, promote, raise

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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

Then an employer who attempts union-busting could be haled into court and face an injunction against demoting or firing union organizers, followed by a trial and possibly heavy damages. Michael Hiltzik,, "Dealt a body blow by the Supreme Court, unions ponder: Where do we go from here?," 28 June 2018 Congress eventually pushed her out of the Interior Department for trying to demote or fire several National Park Service employees and replace them with political appointees. Jonathan Mahler, New York Times, "How One Conservative Think Tank Is Stocking Trump’s Government," 20 June 2018 Zuercher later fired, demoted or suspended 11 city employees who knew, or should have known, about leaks in the sprinkler system but failed to address the issue. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Phoenix to reopen Burton Barr Library June 16 following flooding disaster," 30 May 2018 Meant he was injured, or demoted, or misplayed a ball in the outfield or made another out. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Jorge Soler obliterated a baseball. MLB hasn't seen this sort of turnaround in a while | The Kansas City Star," 3 May 2018 Statute requires an explanation to be released if an employee is fired, demoted or suspended without pay. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel Schools refuses public access counselor's call to release more information," 27 Apr. 2018 The company, which employs a bevy of social psychologists, now demotes viral videos, for example, a move that has resulted in users’ spending 50 million fewer hours per day on the site in the last quarter of 2017. Haley Sweetland Edwards, Time, "You're Addicted to Your Smartphone. This Company Thinks It Can Change That," 13 Apr. 2018 When superiors are confronted with reports of bad behavior, the victims, mostly women, are disbelieved, demoted or fired. Christina Jewett, Washington Post, "Women In Medicine Shout #MeToo About Sexual Harassment At Work," 20 Mar. 2018 And last month, the EU reportedly began asking other niche search engines if they’d been demoted by Google. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The long, tortured quest to make Google unbiased," 6 Dec. 2018

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

circa 1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for demote

de- + -mote (as in promote)

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Statistics for demote

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demote

The first known use of demote was circa 1891

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More Definitions for demote



English Language Learners Definition of demote

: to change the rank or position of (someone) to a lower or less important one


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

Kids Definition of demote

: to reduce to a lower grade or rank He was demoted to private.

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More from Merriam-Webster on demote

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with demote

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for demote

Spanish Central: Translation of demote

Nglish: Translation of demote for Spanish Speakers

Comments on demote

What made you want to look up demote? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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