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[dih-mawr-uh-lahyz, -mor-] /dɪˈmɔr əˌlaɪz, -ˈmɒr-/
verb (used with object), demoralized, demoralizing.
to deprive (a person or persons) of spirit, courage, discipline, etc.; destroy the morale of:
The continuous barrage demoralized the infantry.
to throw (a person) into disorder or confusion; bewilder:
We were so demoralized by that one wrong turn that we were lost for hours.
to corrupt or undermine the morals of.
Also, especially British, demoralise.
Origin of demoralize
From the French word démoraliser, dating back to 1785-95. See de-, moral, -ize
Related forms
demoralization, noun
demoralizer, noun
demoralizingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for demoralised
Historical Examples
  • It is the sober who are demoralised by it, and not the lawless who are deterred.

  • The commissariat was demoralised, and supplies were not forthcoming.

    The Trampling of the Lilies Rafael Sabatini
  • “It was the filthy boche propaganda that demoralised them,” rejoined Estridge.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
  • Mankind has been demoralised since by its own mastery of mechanical appliances.

  • The excitements of the past six hours had demoralised me altogether.

    Tom, Dick and Harry Talbot Baines Reed
  • The Allies, however, threaten Constantinople and the Turkish armies are demoralised.

    The Sequel George A. Taylor
  • They have been demoralised by traders, and drawn away from the mission at Godhaab.

    Red Rooney R.M. Ballantyne
  • Shells from the 18-pounders and trench-mortars cut their wire and demoralised their sentries.

    Attack Edward G. D. Liveing
  • There was no question that our ranks were demoralised and heartsick.

  • Is that a reason to let ourselves be demoralised and downcast?

    The Indian Chief Gustave Aimard
British Dictionary definitions for demoralised


verb (transitive)
to undermine the morale of; dishearten: he was demoralized by his defeat
to debase morally; corrupt
to throw into confusion
Derived Forms
demoralization, demoralisation, noun
demoralizer, demoraliser, noun
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 demoralised



c.1793, "to corrupt the morals of," from French démoraliser, from de- "remove" (see de-) + moral (adj.) (see moral). Said to be a coinage of the French Revolution. Sense of "lower the morale of" (especially of armies) is first recorded 1848. Related: Demoralized; demoralizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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