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[deem] /dim/
one of the administrative divisions of ancient Attica and of modern Greece.
Biology. a local population of organisms of the same kind, especially one in which the genetic mix is similar throughout the group.
Origin of deme
First recorded in 1620-30, deme is from the Greek word dêmos a district, the people, commons
Related forms
[dem-ik, dee-mik] /ˈdɛm ɪk, ˈdi mɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for deme


  1. (in preclassical Greece) the territory inhabited by a tribe
  2. (in ancient Attica) a geographical unit of local government
(biology) a group of individuals within a species that possess particular characteristics of cytology, genetics, etc
Word Origin
C19: from Greek dēmos district in local government, the populace
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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deme in Science
A small, locally interbreeding group of organisms within a larger population. Demes are isolated reproductively from other members of their species, although the isolation may only be partial and is not necessarily permanent. Because they share a somewhat restricted gene pool, members of a deme generally differ morphologically to some degree from members of other demes. See also population.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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