[ dih-mawr-uh-lahyz, -mor- ]
See synonyms for: demoralizedemoralizeddemoralizing on

verb (used with object),de·mor·al·ized, de·mor·al·iz·ing.
  1. to deprive (a person or persons) of spirit, courage, discipline, etc.; destroy the morale of: The continuous barrage demoralized the infantry.

  2. to throw (a person) into disorder or confusion; bewilder: We were so demoralized by that one wrong turn that we were lost for hours.

  1. to corrupt or undermine the morals of.

Origin of demoralize

From the French word démoraliser, dating back to 1785–95. See de-, moral, -ize
  • Also especially British, de·mor·al·ise .

Other words from demoralize

  • de·mor·al·i·za·tion, noun
  • de·mor·al·iz·er, noun
  • de·mor·al·iz·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use demoralize in a sentence

  • Provost General Macy, of Massachusetts, established a guard to prevent depredations and to save the army from demoralization.

    The Boys of '61 | Charles Carleton Coffin.
  • From which it may be inferred,” remarked Isagani with a bitter smile, “that the government wishes our demoralization.

    The Reign of Greed | Jose Rizal
  • They were more like militia than regular forces; they fostered military virtues, without the demoralization of standing armies.

  • Idle hours work demoralization and the ever-present example of the village loafer is not good.

  • The march of fifteen miles to Imbike showed a great demoralization in his men, many of them not coming up till nightfall.

    Stanley's Adventures in the Wilds of Africa | Joel Tyler Headley and William Fletcher Johnson

British Dictionary definitions for demoralize



/ (dɪˈmɒrəˌlaɪz) /

  1. to undermine the morale of; dishearten: he was demoralized by his defeat

  2. to debase morally; corrupt

  1. to throw into confusion

Derived forms of demoralize

  • demoralization or demoralisation, noun
  • demoralizer or demoraliser, noun

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