View synonyms for demonize


[ dee-muh-nahyz ]

verb (used with object)

, de·mon·ized, de·mon·iz·ing.
  1. to misrepresent (someone or something) as thoroughly evil or contemptible; malign:

    He’s grown used to demonizing his opponents, replacing their true identities and arguments with easily despised caricatures.

    “There’s no reason to demonize plastic,” she said, “but I agree that it’s grossly overused.”

  2. to subject to the influence of demons.


/ ˈdiːməˌnaɪz /


  1. to make into or like a demon
  2. to subject to demonic influence
  3. to mark out or describe as evil or culpable

    the technique of demonizing the enemy in the run-up to war

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Other Words From

  • de·mon·i·za·tion [dee-m, uh, -nahy-, zey, -sh, uh, n], noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of demonize1

First recorded in 1815–25; from Medieval Latin daemonizāre, equivalent to Late Latin daemon demon + -izāre -ize

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Example Sentences

Newsletter articles demonized second-wave feminists as “arrogant” and “anti-male.”

He is right that racism remains a problem and that the nation faces an existential threat when racial groups employ partisan politics to demonize others.

This isolation matters, too, because it means that parties can’t count on enthusiasm from their own voters — instead, they must demonize the political opposition in order to mobilize voters.

The film also draws on the current trend of reevaluating demonized women to give her a far more sympathetic persona.

From Vox

They care about demonizing and attacking law enforcement, and I think it’s wrong.

Some historians say that the Christian church gave Satan horns to demonize the Wiccan faith.

But if we showed all that stuff, people would instantly demonize the film.

The proponents of these laws will demonize Muslims while making the case for these measures.

It possesses the power to both humanize and demonize minority groups.

Democrats have certainly done their fair share of utilizing the race card in the Obama era to demonize their political opponents.

His choices free or fetter, elevate or debase, deify or demonize his humanity.

The tendency to sentimentalize nature has, in our time, largely taken the place of the old tendency to demonize and spiritize it.


Related Words

  • diabolize

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More About Demonize

What does demonize mean?

To demonize something or someone is to mark or describe it as evil, as one would a demon.

When something or someone is figuratively demonized like this, it is treated as undesirable or disrespectful. Being is demonized in this way often means being avoided or ignored by certain groups.

Literally, to demonize is to turn something into a demon or to make it demonlike, as in The wizard spoke the spell that would transform a frog into a demon, demonizing it to create a powerful weapon. 

To demonize is also to subject demonic, or evil, influence, as in A mage demonized me, and now a demon torments my every waking hour. Some cultures and religions believe demons exist, while others believe they are only fictional characters.

Example: The senator was so demonized for his beliefs that he could not win reelection.

Where does demonize come from?

The first records of the term demonize come from around 1810. It comes from the Medieval Latin daemonizāre. The suffix ize creates verbs with the meaning “to render” or “to make” out of nouns.

An example of a group that believed in demons as actual beings were the townspeople of Salem, Massachusetts, in the late 1600s. They believed so strongly in demons that some residents became convinced that fellow residents had demonized them, directing demons to torment them. The Salem witch trials were the trials of residents accused of being witches and directing demons to torment other townspeople. The period is now seen as one of massive hysteria and wrongful arrests and execution of innocent people.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to demonize?

  • demonization (noun)
  • demonizing (adjective, verb)
  • demonlike (adjective)

What are some synonyms for demonize?

What are some words that share a root or word element with demonize

What are some words that often get used in discussing demonize?

How is demonize used in real life?

Demonize is generally used in a figurative sense.


Try using demonize!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for demonize?

A. celebrate
B. criticize
C. diminish
D. disparage

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