• synonyms


  1. the ancient Greek chthonian goddess of agriculture and the protector of marriage and the social order, identified by the Romans with Ceres. She presided over the Eleusinian mysteries.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for demeter

Historical Examples of demeter

  • Ceremonies at Eleusis, in honour of Demeter, observed with great secrecy.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Demeter (from Ge-meter, earth-mother) was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

  • Demeter transformed Ascalaphus into an owl for revealing the secret.

  • No comfort did the words of the Sun God bring to the longing soul of Demeter.

  • Then, in truth, it was too late for Demeter to save her child.

British Dictionary definitions for demeter


  1. Greek myth the goddess of agricultural fertility and protector of marriage and womenRoman counterpart: Ceres
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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 demeter


goddess of agriculture, mother of Persephone, from Greek Demeter; the second element generally given as mater (see mother); the first element possibly from da, Doric form of Greek ge "earth" (see Gaia), but Liddell & Scott find this "improbable." The Latin masc. proper name Demetrius means "son of Demeter."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

demeter in Culture



The Greek and Roman goddess of grain, agriculture, and the harvest. The story of Demeter and her daughter, Persephone, explains the cycle of the seasons. When Persephone was carried off to the underworld by Hades, Demeter was so forlorn that she did not tend the crops, and the first winter came to the Earth. Eventually Zeus allowed Persephone to rejoin her mother for two-thirds of every year, and thus the cycle of the seasons began.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.