de·​mise | \ di-ˈmīz How to pronounce demise (audio) \

Definition of demise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : death
b : a cessation of existence or activity
c : a loss of position or status
2 : the conveyance of an estate
3 : transfer of the sovereignty to a successor


demised; demising

Definition of demise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to convey by will or lease demise an estate
2 : to transmit by succession or inheritance
3 obsolete : convey, give

intransitive verb

1 : die, decease
2 : to pass by descent or bequest the property has demised to the king's heirs

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for demise

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of demise in a Sentence

Noun … invited visitors to play a game in which points are awarded to those who predict the demise of yet another overhyped dot-com. — Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone, 14 Sept. 2000 This elegant little book is essential reading for anyone interested in the demise, the terminal silliness, of our culture. — John Irving, New York Times Book Review, 6 Apr. 1997 Like books, board games appear headed for imminent demise at the hands of cathode-ray terminals. — Will Manley, Booklist, 1 Mar. 1995 She had no property at the time of her demise. The musician met an untimely demise. We have not had truly local news coverage since the town newspaper's demise three years ago. Losing this game will mean the team's demise. Verb our much beloved, recently demised leader
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1971 demise of Los Angeles Airways. Michael Goldstein, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 The Italian Constitution bans any recreation of fascist parties, following the demise of Benito Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship before and during World War II. Frances D'emelio, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Oct. 2021 Virginia said that the Grubstake is one of the few late night dining spots left after the demise of Sparky’s Diner on Church Street in the Castro, and It’s Tops at Market and Octavia. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Sep. 2021 Stop talking about the demise of broadcast television. Michael Schneider, Variety, 23 Sep. 2021 And, yes, there was little doubt that exhaustion played a factor in the demise of both teams in the 2020 NBA Finals, with the Lakers, like the Heat, bowing out in the 2021 first round. Ira Winderman,, 16 Sep. 2021 Deeply saddened by the sudden demise of #SidharthShukla. NBC News, 2 Sep. 2021 The data could also play into the debate about the demise of the woolly mammoth after the end of the last ice age. New York Times, 12 Aug. 2021 There wasn’t much to do in Mishawaka, a blue-collar town that had been devastated by the demise of a Uniroyal plant. Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sadly, the bankruptcy of the company’s battery supplier A123 Systems in 2012 led to the Fisker Automotive’s demise a year later. James Morris, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2021 Ruby, a lifelong Californian, takes the country’s demise seriously. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 30 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demise.' 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 demise


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for demise

Noun and Verb

Middle English dimise, from Anglo-French demise, feminine of demis, past participle of demettre to dismiss, from Latin demittere to send down, from de- + mittere to send

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About demise

Time Traveler for demise

Time Traveler

The first known use of demise was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near demise



demise and redemise

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for demise

Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Demise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for demise



English Language Learners Definition of demise

: an end of life : death
: the end of something that is thought of as being like a death


de·​mise | \ di-ˈmīz How to pronounce demise (audio) \

Kids Definition of demise

1 : death sense 1 And often the court waited until the demise of two or three potters before searching out their replacements.— Linda Sue Park, A Single Shard
2 : an ending of existence or activity the demise of a newspaper


transitive verb
de·​mise | \ di-ˈmīz How to pronounce demise (audio) \
demised; demising

Legal Definition of demise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to convey (possession of property) by will or lease the demised premises



Legal Definition of demise (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the conveyance of property by will or lease : lease
2 : the transmission of property by testate or intestate succession
3 : charter of a boat in which the owner surrenders completely the possession, command, and navigation of the boat

called also bareboat charter

History and Etymology for demise


Anglo-French, from feminine past participle of demettre to convey by lease, from Old French, to put down, give up, renounce, from Latin demittere to let fall and dimittere to release

More from Merriam-Webster on demise

Nglish: Translation of demise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of demise for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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