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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from demote

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for demote



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Having given Cavani a new one-year contract, United are still in the market to sign another striker, which would further demote Martial. Sam Pilger, Forbes, 29 June 2021 In December, a Milwaukee County judge reversed the commission’s summer 2020 decision to demote Morales to captain. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 May 2021 In August, the commission voted unanimously to demote Morales to captain, prompting him to retire, sue and request a judicial review of the decision. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 Mar. 2021 Bulson met with the Caucus of African American Leaders in April 2019, who told him the decision to demote 80% of the school system’s Black female assistant principals seemed discriminatory. James Whitlow,, 20 May 2021 Cheney spoke Tuesday night on the House floor, defiant of Trump and his lies, and determined not to let her adversaries escape the implications of the move to demote her. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 12 May 2021 At least for now, rather than demote the right-hander to the minors, the Giants will continue developing him in the big leagues. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 May 2021 Just the Trump party:' Liz Cheney's demotion proves Trump still rules Republican politics, experts say House Republicans voted Wednesday to demote Cheney from her role as third-ranking Republican. USA Today, 15 May 2021 And other Republicans question whether the House should demote a member for opposing Trump. Jennifer Haberkorn, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of demote

circa 1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for demote

de- + -mote (as in promote)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About demote

Time Traveler for demote

Time Traveler

The first known use of demote was circa 1891

See more words from the same year

Statistics for demote

Last Updated

10 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Demote.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Nglish: Translation of demote for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!