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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
1785-95; < French démoraliser. See de-, moral, -ize
Related forms
demoralization, noun
demoralizer, noun
demoralizingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for demoralised
Historical Examples
  • He locked up the remaining two books in his desk, and the demoralised Chugleigh resumed his seat amid loud laughter.

  • Mankind has been demoralised since by its own mastery of mechanical appliances.

  • Porkiss was demoralised with fear, nor was his peace of mind restored when Revere said coldly: 'Oh!

    Under the Deodars Rudyard Kipling
  • The excitements of the past six hours had demoralised me altogether.

    Tom, Dick and Harry Talbot Baines Reed
  • After this, Wieck wrote to Behrens protesting against his lending a hand to "a demoralised girl without shame."

  • They have been demoralised by traders, and drawn away from the mission at Godhaab.

    Red Rooney R.M. Ballantyne
  • Trevarthen's death had demoralised the garrison, and these men by the fire were considering the risk to their necks.

    Two Sides of the Face Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Shells from the 18-pounders and trench-mortars cut their wire and demoralised their sentries.

    Attack Edward G. D. Liveing
  • The commissariat was demoralised, and supplies were not forthcoming.

    The Trampling of the Lilies Rafael Sabatini
  • There was no question that our ranks were demoralised and heartsick.

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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