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[dem-oh] /ˈdɛm oʊ/ Informal.
noun, plural demos.
demonstration (defs 4, 6).
demonstrator (def 5).
a recording of a new song or of one performed by an unknown singer or singing group, distributed to disc jockeys, recording companies, etc., to demonstrate the merits of the song or performer.
demolition (def 1):
He does flooring and demo for a living.
verb (used with object), demoed, demoing.
to try out or exhibit the use of (a product, process, or the like):
You can demo the game without downloading or buying it.
to record (a song) to demonstrate the merits of the song or performer.
Origin of demo
1935-40; by shortening; see -o


[dem-oh] /ˈdɛm oʊ/
noun, plural Demos. Informal.
a member of the Democratic Party; Democrat.
1785-95, Americanism


a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “people” (democratic); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (demography).
< Greek dēmo-, combining form of dêmos Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for demo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On the other side the rock rises sheer and steep, and in it is hollowed out a semi-circular cistern called the demo.

    A Spring Walk in Provence Archibald Marshall
  • This word comes from the Abracadabra: "demo," lungs; "crazy," to rule; hence, to rule by caloric.

    The Roycroft Dictionary Elbert Hubbard
  • Debra finished up and stepped off the stage to a polite round of applause, and they started the demo.

British Dictionary definitions for demo


noun (informal) (pl) -os
short for demonstration (sense 4)
  1. a demonstration record or tape, used for audition purposes
  2. a demonstration of a prototype system
(US) short for demonstrator (sense 3)


combining form
indicating people or population: demography
Word Origin
from Greek dēmos
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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Word Origin and History for demo

short for demonstration (tape, disc, etc.). Music recording given out for promotional purposes, 1963. The word was used earlier to mean "a public political demonstration" (1936).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for demo



: the Dem boss/ Demo congressmen


A Democrat (first form 1840+, second 1793+)



: Let's try the demo disk


  1. A record or tape made to demonstrate the abilities of musicians, the quality of a song, etc: Mark's got a good demo to pitch the new song with (1950s+)
  2. A computer disk or tape cassette made to demonstrate the abilities of a particular program: I tried out their software demo before I bought their package (1980s+)
  3. A demonstration of protest or other conviction, esp by a large crowd with banners, etc: a no-nukes demo (1936+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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demo in Technology

/de'moh/ 1. A demonstration of a product, often of an early version or prototype. A demo is a far more effective way of inducing bugs to manifest themselves than any number of test runs, especially when important people are watching.
2. demo version.
3. A program written to demonstrate the programmer's coding ability and/or the power of the computer it runs on. Such demos are nearly always written in machine code and traditionally feature scrolling text about the author, his friends, his code and anything else he fancies and animated graphics.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for demo


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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