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noun, plural dem·os.
  1. demonstration(defs 4, 6).
  2. demonstrator(def 5).
  3. a recording of a new song or of one performed by an unknown singer or singing group, distributed to disc jockeys, recording companies, etc., to demonstrate the merits of the song or performer.
  4. demolition(def 1): He does flooring and demo for a living.
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verb (used with object), dem·oed, dem·o·ing.
  1. to try out or exhibit the use of (a product, process, or the like): You can demo the game without downloading or buying it.
  2. to record (a song) to demonstrate the merits of the song or performer.
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Origin of demo

1935–40; by shortening; see -o


noun, plural Dem·os. Informal.
  1. a member of the Democratic Party; Democrat.
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Origin of Demo

An Americanism dating back to 1785–95


  1. a combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “people” (democratic); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (demography).
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Origin of demo-

< Greek dēmo-, combining form of dêmos
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for demo

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This word comes from the Abracadabra: "demo," lungs; "crazy," to rule; hence, to rule by caloric.

  • On the other side the rock rises sheer and steep, and in it is hollowed out a semi-circular cistern called the Demo.

    A Spring Walk in Provence

    Archibald Marshall

  • Debra finished up and stepped off the stage to a polite round of applause, and they started the demo.

British Dictionary definitions for demo


noun plural -os informal
  1. short for demonstration (def. 4)
    1. a demonstration record or tape, used for audition purposes
    2. a demonstration of a prototype system
  2. US short for demonstrator (def. 3)
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before a vowel dem-

combining form
  1. indicating people or populationdemography
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Word Origin

from Greek dēmos
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 demo


short for demonstration (tape, disc, etc.). Music recording given out for promotional purposes, 1963. The word was used earlier to mean "a public political demonstration" (1936).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper