View synonyms for demon



[ dee-muhn ]


  1. an evil spirit; devil or fiend.
  2. an evil passion or influence.
  3. a person considered extremely wicked, evil, or cruel.
  4. a person with great energy, drive, etc.:

    He's a demon for work.

  5. a person, especially a child, who is very mischievous:

    His younger son is a real little demon.

  6. Australian Slang. a policeman, especially a detective.


  1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or noting a demon.
  2. possessed or controlled by a demon.


  1. variant of demono- before a vowel:



/ ˈdiːmən /


  1. an evil spirit or devil
  2. a person, habit, obsession, etc, thought of as evil, cruel, or persistently tormenting
  3. Also calleddaemondaimon an attendant or ministering spirit; genius

    the demon of inspiration

    1. a person who is extremely skilful in, energetic at, or devoted to a given activity, esp a sport

      a demon at cycling

    2. ( as modifier )

      a demon cyclist

  4. a variant spelling of daemon
  5. informal.
    a detective or policeman
  6. computing a part of a computer program, such as a help facility, that can run in the background behind the current task or application, and which will only begin to work when certain conditions are met or when it is specifically invoked

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Word History and Origins

Origin of demon1

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin daemonium < Greek daimónion, thing of divine nature (in Jewish and Christian writers, evil spirit), neuter of daimónios, derivative of daímōn; demon ( def 6 ) < Latin; daemon

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Word History and Origins

Origin of demon1

C15: from Latin daemōn evil spirit, spirit, from Greek daimōn spirit, deity, fate; see daemon

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Example Sentences

No matter how much he burrows into his mind, he must face the demon of death.

While Ichabod is checking for non-existent cell service, Abbie learns that Moloch is planning to release a demon army on earth.

What a demon, a behemoth, evil just seems to be seeping through him.

He fashioned BOB, the demon spirit who lived in the Black Lodge, but such an explanation satisfied precious few of us.

In a sharp voice, Larson commanded the attention of my demon.

It may be noted in passing that in the three miracles in Matthew of exorcising a blinding demon the title “Son of David” is used.

And so saying, the mis-shapen little demon set up a hideous yell, and danced upon the ground as if frantic with rage.

Tom meekly did as he was bid, but in his heart there raged the passions of a demon, and he swore Mark Grafton should die.

In The Demon I have found some beautiful things, but a good deal of padding, too.

"Either they or some demon changelings," answered the old man, rocking to and fro upon the mats.


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Words That Use Demon-

What does demon- mean?

Demon- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “demon.” It is used in a few technical terms, especially in theology.

Demon- comes from the Greek daimónion, meaning “thing of divine nature” and ultimate source of the English word demon. Among Jewish and Christian writers, daimónion was used to mean “evil spirit.”

Demon- is a variant of demono-, which loses its –o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use demono- article.

Examples of demon-

One example of a theological term that features the combining form demon- is demonism, which can refer to the belief in or study of demons.

The first part of the word, demon- means “demon,” as we’ve seen. What about the -ism part of the word? The suffix -ism can refer to a kind of “theory” or a “devotion or adherence” to something. So, demonism literally translates to “demon devotion.”

What are some words that use or are related to the combining form demon-?

What are some other forms that demon- may be commonly confused with?

Not every word that begins with the exact letters demon- is necessarily using the combining form demon- to denote “demon,” such as demonym or demonetize. Learn their meaning and uses at our entries for the words.

Break it down!

The suffix -ize forms verbs and has a general meaning of “to make (into).” With this and the meaning of demon- in mind, what does demonize mean?