de·mote | \ di-ˈmōt , 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 \ 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

Still believing in Arcia: Despite demoting Arcia for the second time, general manager David Stearns expressed faith that the young shortstop would rebound from his horrid season at the plate. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Notes: Nate Orf gets first call to big leagues; Brewers option reliever Aaron Wilkerson," 2 July 2018 The Phillies just demoted their closer to Triple-A. Iglesias would make a fine final piece for any team that sees itself as October-relevant. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc: Reds should hold cards until after the season," 1 July 2018 Mitchell, acquired in a December trade and immediately inserted in the starting rotation, was demoted to the bullpen on May 7. Kevin Acee,, "Bryan Mitchell placed on DL," 20 June 2018 Teddy Gordon, who is representing the Halls, is a Louisville attorney who's previously brought cases against JCPS, including a federal lawsuit alleging relentless bullying and a claim that a substitute teacher was demoted because of her race. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Parents allege abuse at JCPS preschool drastically changed daughter," 19 June 2018 The rookie pitcher earns his first big league win at Milwaukee, and is promptly demoted to the minors to make room on the roster for veteran Jim Palmer, who spent seven weeks on the disabled list with various injuries. Mike Klingaman,, "Remembering 1983: A look at the Orioles' world championship for the week of June 10-16," 10 June 2018 For instance, the worker has return rights if the employee is rejected on probation or is demoted from a managerial position in the new job, or if the position is eliminated. Marjie Lundstrom, sacbee, "Giving gropers a break? How California state workers stay employed after big payouts | The Sacramento Bee," 19 Apr. 2018 The move marked the second time Sisco – one of the team’s top prospects -- has been demoted to the minors in the past month. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Orioles option catcher Chance Sisco to Triple-A Norfolk," 13 July 2018 By mid-afternoon Wednesday, Giles had been demoted by the Astros to Class AAA Fresno. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Revisiting the Astros' 2015 trade for Ken Giles," 12 July 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

14 Sep 2018

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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 \
demoted; demoting

Kids Definition of demote

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

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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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