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

Instead of removing his supervisor, city officials demoted Johnson and transferred him from the City Clerk’s office to the Public Utilities Department, the lawsuit claimed. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego paying out $565K to settle religious discrimination case," 9 Sep. 2019 In 2016, highly successful and beloved coach Art Briles was suspended with intent to terminate, and President Ken Starr was demoted. Los Angeles Times, "Look out Notre Dame, the Falwells have big plans for Liberty football," 27 Aug. 2019 The Senate must confirm the CEA chair, which has typically been considered a Cabinet-level role, although Trump demoted it for his administration. Jeff Stein,, "Trump to name Tomas Philipson, a health care expert, as his next chief economist," 30 June 2019 The eye-popping purchase came up on an agency document reviewed by several news outlets, including ABC News, which reported the official said she was demoted for objecting to the outsized spending. Josh Hafner, USA TODAY, "Ben Carson's HUD spent $31,000 on dining room furniture for his office," 28 Feb. 2018 And Smith, who has likely been demoted for the remainder of the season, responded with 14 points off the bench. Joe Vardon,, "LeBron James sets career high with 14th triple double in Cavaliers' 129-107 win over Suns," 14 July 2017 Bengals center Billy Price was demoted to the second unit in favor of Trey Hopkins. Tyler Dragon,, "Billy Price is disappointed but understands why Bengals are going with Trey Hopkins at center," 27 Aug. 2019 Rookie Jose Suarez, recalled just days after being demoted to triple A because of Griffin Canning’s season-ending elbow injury, rebounded nicely from a string of disappointing starts that sent his ERA soaring toward 7.00. Maria Torres, Los Angeles Times, "Kole Calhoun goes four for four, but Angels lose yet another one-run game.," 23 Aug. 2019 Palka was quickly demoted to Triple-A Charlotte, and Alonso eventually was released. Paul Sullivan,, "Column: Rick Renteria didn’t ask for it, but here’s a suggested 2020 lineup for the White Sox," 21 Aug. 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

14 Sep 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

What made you want to look up demote? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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