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 demotion (audio) , ˌdē-​ \ 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

After Wyoming finished 1-9 in 1970, Eaton was demoted to assistant athletic director. NBC News, "14 black football players kicked off team over protest armbands are honored 50 years later," 13 Sep. 2019 The 36-year-old was recently demoted to the Toffees' third-choice goalkeeper behind summer arrival Jonas Lossl, so the future looks even bleaker than before., "11 Players You Probably Didn't Realise Are Still Playing in the Premier League in 2019," 8 Sep. 2019 Jordan Mills recently has been demoted, injured and released. Eric Branch,, "49ers, seeking a swing tackle, host Jordan Mills for a visit," 3 Sep. 2019 In 2018, a few days before the Richardson trial was scheduled to begin, he was demoted. Keith Bierygolick,, "Skylar Richardson: What you need to know as trial starts for former cheerleader charged in buried baby case," 2 Sep. 2019 But he was still demoted from the role in January for undisclosed reasons. Sam Blum |, al, "An inside look at why Cadillac Williams is an expert recruiter," 15 Aug. 2019 Under the fact-checking program, which was first launched in Kenya in 2018, stories identified as false, are demoted in the news feed and are tagged with warnings when users attempt to post and share them. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Facebook is going after fake news in local African languages," 14 Aug. 2019 The dip in production prompted Dantonio to overhaul the offensive coaching staff during the offseason, promoting Brad Salem to offensive coordinator and demoting co-offensive coordinators Dave Warner and Jim Bollman. Matt Murschel,, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 32 Michigan State shakes up staff, chases Big Ten title," 23 July 2019 Oyamada, herself a former temp, envisions three young people demoted to the labor twilight zone by job insecurity. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 16 Sep. 2019

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

12 Oct 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

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a bell tower

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