- to reduce to a lower grade, rank, class, or position (opposed to promote): They demoted the careless waiter to busboy.
Origin of demote
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for demote
Obama or Congress could demote or impeach Jaczko within the next year; either move would be highly unprecedented.Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Greg Jaczko's Controversial Reign
December 14, 2011
Billy Kasker wandered off for a few moments and I had to demote him.Be It Ever Thus
Robert Moore Williams
- (tr) to lower in rank or position; relegate
C19: from de- + (pro) mote
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 demote
Regarding an antithesis to 'promote,' the word universally in use in Cambridge, in Harvard College, is drop. The same word is in use in the leading schools here (Boston). I hope I may be counted every time against such barbarisms as 'demote' and 'retromote.' [Edward Everett Hale, 1892, letter to the publishers of "Funk & Wagnalls' Standard Dictionary"]
Related: Demoted; demoting.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper