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[dih-mot-ik] /dɪˈmɒt ɪk/
of or relating to the ordinary, everyday, current form of a language; vernacular:
a poet with a keen ear for demotic rhythms.
of or relating to the common people; popular.
of, relating to, or noting the simplified form of hieratic writing used in ancient Egypt between 700 b.c. and a.d. 500.
demotic script.
(initial capital letter). Also called Romaic. the Modern Greek vernacular (distinguished from Katharevusa).
Origin of demotic
1815-25; < Greek dēmotikós popular, plebeian, equivalent to dēmót(ēs) a plebeian (derivative of dêmos; see demo-) + -ikos -ic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for demotic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Hieratic, like the demotic, is always written from right to left.

    The New York Obelisk Charles E. Moldenke
  • In demotic, if I understand aright, the vowels are not written and the consonants often do not mean what they seem to mean.

    The Story of Nefrekepta Gilbert Murray
  • It is a stel of black basalt, bearing an inscription in Hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek.

    The New York Obelisk Charles E. Moldenke
  • What I expected was a reply in kind, an hieratic acceptance or a demotic refusal; either one would be good practice for Monny.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • No one any longer wrote in the hieroglyphic, hieratic, or demotic scripts; in a word, the hieroglyphic writing was forgotten.

  • Out of this fact grew the larger significance of the demotic writing as contrasted with the hieratic or priestly writing.

    The Reign of the Manuscript Perry Wayland Sinks
  • You will remember how complex were the Egyptian styles of writing—both hieroglyphic and demotic.

British Dictionary definitions for demotic


of or relating to the common people; popular
of or relating to a simplified form of hieroglyphics used in ancient Egypt by the ordinary literate class outside the priesthood Compare hieratic
the demotic script of ancient Egypt
Derived Forms
demotist, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Greek dēmotikos of the people, from dēmotēs a man of the people, commoner; see demos


the spoken form of Modern Greek, now increasingly used in literature Compare Katharevusa
denoting or relating to this
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 demotic

1822, from Greek demotikos "of or for the common people, in common use," from demos "common people," originally "district," from PIE *da-mo- "division," from root *da- "to divide" (see tide). In contrast to hieratic. Originally of the simpler of two forms of ancient Egyptian writing; broader sense is from 1831; used of Greek since 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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