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verb (used with object) Obsolete.
  1. to make mad or insane.
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Origin of dement

1535–45; < Late Latin dēmentāre to deprive of mind, equivalent to Latin dēment- (stem of dēmēns) out of one's mind (dē- de- + ment- (stem of mēns) mind) + -āre infinitive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dement

disturb, confuse, perturb, rattle, disquiet, unnerve, disconcert, agitate, disorganize, disrupt, unbalance, perplex, screwball, freak, lunatic, fanatic, eccentric, crackpot, bigot, maniac

Examples from the Web for dement

Historical Examples of dement

  • Dement, riding near the head of the line saw this and muttered in his beard.

    Tharon of Lost Valley

    Vingie E. Roe

  • When we were at Dixon they were getting up the Dement regiment.

  • Dement′ed, out of one's mind: insane: suffering from dementia.

  • The letter went on to say that at times “the master was like one dement,” and that they were afraid of their lives.

  • In the following year he organized the Dement Brothers Company and has continuously served as its president.

British Dictionary definitions for dement


  1. (intr) to deteriorate mentally, esp because of old age
  2. (tr) rare to drive mad; make insane
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Word Origin for dement

C16: from Late Latin dēmentāre to drive mad, from Latin de- + mēns mind
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 dement


1540s, "to drive mad," probably from Middle French démenter, from Late Latin dementare "to drive out of one's mind," from phrase de mente (a less technical term than insanitas), from de + mente, ablative of mens mind" (see mind (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper