[ 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.

Origin of demote

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

Related forms

de·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 Forms

demotion, 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