[ dih-mahyz ]
/ dɪˈmaɪz /


verb (used with object), de·mised, de·mis·ing.

Law. to transfer (an estate or the like) for a limited time; lease.
Government. to transfer (sovereignty), as by the death or abdication of the sovereign.

verb (used without object), de·mised, de·mis·ing.

Law. to pass by bequest, inheritance, or succession.

Origin of demise

1400–50; late Middle English dimis(s)e, demise < Old French demis (past participle of desmetre) < Latin dīmissum (past participle of dīmittere); see demit1, dismiss
Related formsde·mis·a·bil·i·ty, nounde·mis·a·ble, adjectivenon·de·mise, nounun·de·mised, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for demised

  • It's going to be a great shock to some of them one of these days to wake up and find out they're demised!

  • John B. Waldo, recently demised, was also a pupil of mine for about two years.

  • It was demised to her doubtless before her marriage, but it was not altered in relation to her after her marriage.

    Shakespeare's Family|Mrs. C. C. Stopes
  • "No, he didn't; he demised," says Kelly, emerging from obscurity into the light of conversation once more.


British Dictionary definitions for demised


/ (dɪˈmaɪz) /


failure or terminationthe demise of one's hopes
a euphemistic or formal word for death
property law
  1. a transfer of an estate by lease
  2. the passing or transfer of an estate on the death of the owner
the immediate transfer of sovereignty to a successor upon the death, abdication, etc, of a ruler (esp in the phrase demise of the crown)


Derived Formsdemisable, adjective

Word Origin for demise

C16: from Old French, feminine of demis dismissed, from demettre to send away, from Latin dīmittere; see dismiss
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 demised



mid-15c., from Middle French demise, fem. past participle of démettre "dismiss, put away," from des- "away" (from Latin dis-) + Middle French mettre "put," from Latin mittere "let go, send" (see mission). Originally "transfer of estate by will," meaning extended 1754 to "death" because that's when this happens.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper