[ dih-mee-ter ]

  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.

Words Nearby Demeter Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Demeter in a sentence

  • The pig was the animal usually offered to Demeter, the goddess of the Eleusinian mysteries.

  • Thus, the cults of Demeter eventually passed over, in all essentials, into cults of the beyond.

  • He had only one picture—the Demeter of Onidos—and she hung straight from the roof like a joint of meat.

    The Longest Journey | E. M. Forster
  • Myrtilus was standing before his Demeter, scanning it intently with his keen artist eyes.

    Arachne, Complete | Georg Ebers
  • You, too, ought not to overlook it when you undertake to model a Demeter; for she is a goddess, no mortal like yourself.

    Arachne, Complete | Georg Ebers

British Dictionary definitions for Demeter


/ (dɪˈmiːtə) /

  1. Greek myth the goddess of agricultural fertility and protector of marriage and women: Roman counterpart: Ceres

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

Cultural definitions for Demeter


[ (di-mee-tuhr) ]

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.

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.