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 \ di-​ˈmō-​shən How to pronounce demote (audio) , ˌdē-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for demote



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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 Five of her six school board colleagues voted to demote her last week. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, "School board member Alison Collins' lawsuit doesn't impress legal experts," 1 Apr. 2021 But that may have been the point: At his worst, Roth seems to demote the suffering of a whole people in order to make room for his own sense of being picked on. Laura Marsh, The New Republic, "Philip Roth’s Revenge Fantasy," 22 Mar. 2021 Wilson is one of six current commissioners who voted to demote Morales. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee council members decline to recommend reappointment of FPC member Ann Wilson after report on Morales decision," 9 Mar. 2021 The Fire and Police Commission unanimously votes to demote Morales to his prior rank of captain. Gina Barton,, "A rape accusation against a prominent Milwaukee developer set off a series of events that brought years of turmoil to the surface," 24 Feb. 2021 City Inspector General Ronda Kohlheim releases a report concluding the Fire and Police Commission did not adhere to state law, city attorney opinions and its own rule in its decision to demote Morales to captain. Gina Barton,, "A rape accusation against a prominent Milwaukee developer set off a series of events that brought years of turmoil to the surface," 24 Feb. 2021 The commission unanimously decided last week to demote Morales after weeks of public speculation that he would be fired. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Morales 'seriously' considering retirement and now pursuing legal action, lawyer says," 12 Aug. 2020 If that decision is to dismiss, demote or suspend him for more than 40 hours, then Jaynes would have the right to request a hearing from the Police Merit Board. Tessa Duvall, USA TODAY, "Louisville police seek to fire 2 more officers connected to fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor," 29 Dec. 2020 That ultimately led the police chief to demote Shimanek from the rank of sergeant to officer in September. Dana Branham, Dallas News, "Man sues Keller officers after he was arrested, pepper-sprayed in what he says was retaliation," 24 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for demote

Time Traveler

The first known use of demote was circa 1891

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Statistics for demote

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Demote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on demote

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Nglish: Translation of demote for Spanish Speakers

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