de·​mon | \ ˈdē-mən How to pronounce demon (audio) \
variants: or
plural demons or daemons

Definition of demon

1a : an evil spirit angels and demons
b : a source or agent of evil, harm, distress, or ruin the demons of drug and alcohol addiction confronting the demons of his childhood
2 usually daemon : an attendant (see attendant entry 2 sense 1) power or spirit : genius
3 usually daemon, mythology : a supernatural being whose nature is intermediate between that of a god and that of a human being
4 : one that has exceptional enthusiasm, drive, or effectiveness a demon for work Doug, putting like a demon, had birdies on the third and sixth …— Fred Tupper
5 daemon : a software program or process that runs in the background A mailer daemon installed on an e-mail system can respond to a piece of incorrectly addressed e-mail by generating an automated message to the sender that the message was undeliverable.— J. D. Biersdorfer

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Other Words from demon

demonian \ di-​ˈmō-​nē-​ən How to pronounce demonian (audio) \ adjective

Examples of demon in a Sentence

only in rare cases is the ancient rite of exorcism performed to cast out a troublesome demon a man who was finally able to conquer his demons and kick his drug habit
Recent Examples on the Web Through Solomon, she is introduced to the mysterious Hugo Blackwood, a tortured immortal with connections to the dead, and the two begrudgingly team up to help stop the demon's killing spree. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "'The Hollow Ones' review: Guillermo del Toro's supernatural mystery is eerie but empty," 4 Aug. 2020 Could Donald Trump be infected with demon sperm himself? Elizabeth Gulino,, "Trump’s New Favorite Doctor Believes In Demon Sperm And Hydroxychloroquine," 29 July 2020 Adriel decides to show Ava what really happened to him, revealing himself to be a demon and not an angel. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything That Went Down During the "Warrior Nun" Season One Finale," 15 July 2020 Everyone from a college teacher in Pakistan to a mall cashier in Canada to an Episcopalian priest in Florida is confronting the same daytime demon. Gillian Flaccus, The Denver Post, "Coronavirus pandemic sabotages sleep worldwide and infects dreams," 28 Apr. 2020 Looking at myself brings forth the demon in my head that tells me to binge and then purge. Jeanne Sager, SELF, "Zoom Is Really Triggering My Eating Disorder," 8 July 2020 The Tarask is the other form of demon that exists in Warrior Nun season 1. Ariana Romero,, "The Warrior Nun Glossary You Need To Watch The New Netflix Series," 2 July 2020 Courtney, a thousand-year-old demon, becomes their guide to the underworld multiplane. Nick Romano,, "Netflix orders queer-friendly DeadEndia animated kids series with Beetlejuice musical star," 2 July 2020 The speed demon of the group, this serum features an ingredient called retinol SA. Deanna Pai, CNN Underscored, "Why now is a great time to finally try a retinoid," 30 June 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for demon

Middle English, "evil spirit," borrowed from Late Latin daemōn "evil spirit, pagan deity, idol," going back to Latin, "supernatural being, spirit intermediate between humans and gods," borrowed from Greek daimon-, daímōn "superhuman power, variably evil or beneficent, intervening in human affairs, fate" (Homeric), "personal spirit, bringing luck or ill, that accompanies an individual," "spirit intermediate between humans and gods" (Plato), "evil spirit" (New Testament), probably from dai-, stem of daíomai, daíesthai "to divide, allocate" + -mōn, deverbal noun and adjective suffix — more at tide entry 1

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Time Traveler for demon

Time Traveler

The first known use of demon was before the 12th century

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Statistics for demon

Last Updated

12 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Demon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for demon


How to pronounce demon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of demon

: an evil spirit
informal : a person who has a lot of energy or enthusiasm
: something that causes a person to have a lot of trouble or unhappiness


de·​mon | \ ˈdē-mən How to pronounce demon (audio) \

Kids Definition of demon

1 : an evil spirit : devil
2 : a person of great energy or enthusiasm a speed demon

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