1. one of the administrative divisions of ancient Attica and of modern Greece.
  2. Biology. a local population of organisms of the same kind, especially one in which the genetic mix is similar throughout the group.

Origin of deme

First recorded in 1620–30, deme is from the Greek word dêmos a district, the people, commons
Related formsdem·ic [dem-ik, dee-mik] /ˈdɛm ɪk, ˈdi mɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for demic


    1. (in preclassical Greece) the territory inhabited by a tribe
    2. (in ancient Attica) a geographical unit of local government
  1. biology a group of individuals within a species that possess particular characteristics of cytology, genetics, etc

Word Origin for deme

C19: from Greek dēmos district in local government, the populace
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

demic in Science


  1. A small, locally interbreeding group of organisms within a larger population. Demes are isolated reproductively from other members of their species, although the isolation may only be partial and is not necessarily permanent. Because they share a somewhat restricted gene pool, members of a deme generally differ morphologically to some degree from members of other demes. See also population.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.