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

Felix Browne, an agency spokesman, reiterated Thursday that Riccobene was demoted and is no longer directly supervising any staff, including the legal department, which once fell under her purview in her previous $112,000-a-year position. Matt Stout,, "Duties of demoted executive in medical examiner’s office ‘remain largely the same’," 9 July 2018 Lisa Riccobene will be allowed to remain in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner but will be demoted from her $112,000-a-year post. Matt Stout,, "Duties of demoted executive in medical examiner’s office ‘remain largely the same’," 9 July 2018 Martin didn’t even join Triple A Round Rock after being demoted Tuesday as the Texas Rangers had a quick need for his return to the bullpen when Tony Barnette exited with a right shoulder strain later that night. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Rangers notes: Chris Martin returns from brief minor league stint," 4 July 2018 After being demoted to the Storm Chasers in May, Maurer posted a 5.48 ERA in 19 games. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Jakob Junis allows three homers for second start in a row as Royals lose to Astros," 15 June 2018 Tensions between Facebook and publishers have been building since at least January, when the social network changed its News Feed algorithm in a way that demoted content from publishers in favor of posts from a user’s friends. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "Facebook’s New Political Algorithms Increase Tension With Publishers," 14 June 2018 Baez had expressed frustration with being demoted in a conversation with manager Dave Roberts. Andy Mccullough,, "Dodgers demote reliever Pedro Baez to minors," 6 June 2018 Bob Day, who was demoted from assistant chief to captain under the former Portland police chief, will serve as deputy chief, the No. 2 in command under new Chief Danielle Outlaw. Maxine Bernstein,, "Portland police Chief Danielle Outlaw taps Bob Day to serve as her deputy chief," 16 Apr. 2018 Strollo had recently been reinstated as a sergeant after being demoted in a case for allowing a bouncer at the Crazy Horse strip club in Cleveland to attack a customer who was being unruly, according to court records. Adam Ferrise,, "Cleveland cop charged with soliciting prostitute has history of discipline issues," 5 June 2017

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

9 Nov 2018

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 \
demoted; demoting

Kids Definition of demote

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

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