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demoralize

[dih-mawr-uh-lahyz, -mor-]
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verb (used with object), de·mor·al·ized, de·mor·al·iz·ing.
  1. to deprive (a person or persons) of spirit, courage, discipline, etc.; destroy the morale of: The continuous barrage demoralized the infantry.
  2. to throw (a person) into disorder or confusion; bewilder: We were so demoralized by that one wrong turn that we were lost for hours.
  3. to corrupt or undermine the morals of.
Also especially British, de·mor·al·ise.

Origin of demoralize

From the French word démoraliser, dating back to 1785–95. See de-, moral, -ize
Related formsde·mor·al·i·za·tion, nounde·mor·al·iz·er, nounde·mor·al·iz·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for demoralizing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The Republic is not the demoralizing force some would have it believed.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • However, the Anthonys were free from all demoralizing influences.

    Chance

    Joseph Conrad

  • It is terrible to see how demoralizing our contact is to all sorts and conditions of men.

  • That was not demoralizing to the Afghans, who have not European nerves.

  • It is demoralizing,—it is to abandon the pride of conscious rectitude.


British Dictionary definitions for demoralizing

demoralize

demoralise

verb (tr)
  1. to undermine the morale of; disheartenhe was demoralized by his defeat
  2. to debase morally; corrupt
  3. to throw into confusion
Derived Formsdemoralization or demoralisation, noundemoralizer or 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

Word Origin and History for demoralizing

demoralize

v.

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