[ dih-moht ]
/ dɪˈmoʊt /

verb (used with object), de·mot·ed, de·mot·ing.

to reduce to a lower grade, rank, class, or position (opposed to promote): They demoted the careless waiter to busboy.

Nearby words

  1. demoralize,
  2. demoralizing,
  3. demos,
  4. demoscene,
  5. demosthenes,
  6. demothball,
  7. demotic,
  8. demotion,
  9. demotivate,
  10. demount

Origin of demote

An Americanism dating back to 1890–95; de- + (pro)mote

Related formsde·mo·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for demotion

  • Moving to Hulu like Larry King could give him free rein—but is that too much of a demotion from venerable Tonight?

    Where Does Jay Leno Go Next?|Kevin Fallon|April 3, 2013|DAILY BEAST
  • He just felt that he was reasonably secure against promotion, and that he need not be afraid of "demotion."

    John Wesley, Jr.|Dan B. Brummitt

British Dictionary definitions for demotion


/ (dɪˈməʊt) /


(tr) to lower in rank or position; relegate
Derived Formsdemotion, noun

Word Origin for demote

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 demotion
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper