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[dih-mahyz] /dɪˈmaɪz/
death or decease.
termination of existence or operation:
the demise of the empire.
  1. a death or decease occasioning the transfer of an estate.
  2. a conveyance or transfer of an estate.
Government. transfer of sovereignty, as by the death or deposition of the sovereign.
verb (used with object), demised, demising.
Law. to transfer (an estate or the like) for a limited time; lease.
Government. to transfer (sovereignty), as by the death or abdication of the sovereign.
verb (used without object), demised, demising.
Law. to pass by bequest, inheritance, or succession.
Origin of demise
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English dimis(s)e, demise < Old French demis (past participle of desmetre) < Latin dīmissum (past participle of dīmittere); see demit1, dismiss
Related forms
demisability, noun
demisable, adjective
nondemise, noun
undemised, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for demise
  • Sadly for the potential fate of human civilization, rumors of the demise of climate change have been much exaggerated.
  • She packs her rhythmic narrative with nuggets of information about the gold mining municipality's rapid rise and demise.
  • Special mouse was a pet phrase in our secret lexicon of intimacy, a lexicon that in many ways led to our demise.
  • The larger carriers say their digital buildout will cover any gaps left by the demise of analog service.
  • The demise of large animals has thrown entire ecosystems out of balance.
  • When cultures end, their demise usually is accompanied by decadence.
  • But another emergency could cause its premature demise.
  • The pooch met his untimely demise in 1939 when he was hit by a car outside the fire station.
  • Logging's demise meant that the forests wreathing the mountains and lakes around Bend are likely to stay the same for many years.
  • Colleagues are dumbfounded by the demise of a noted legal scholar.
British Dictionary definitions for demise


failure or termination: the demise of one's hopes
a euphemistic or formal word for death
(property law)
  1. a transfer of an estate by lease
  2. the passing or transfer of an estate on the death of the owner
the immediate transfer of sovereignty to a successor upon the death, abdication, etc, of a ruler (esp in the phrase demise of the crown)
to transfer or be transferred by inheritance, will, or succession
(transitive) (property law) to transfer (an estate, etc) for a limited period; lease
(transitive) to transfer (sovereignty, a title, etc) by or as if by the death, deposition, etc, of a ruler
Derived Forms
demisable, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Old French, feminine of demis dismissed, from demettre to send away, from Latin dīmittere; see dismiss
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
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Word Origin and History for demise

mid-15c., from Middle French demise, fem. past participle of démettre "dismiss, put away," from des- "away" (from Latin dis-) + Middle French mettre "put," from Latin mittere "let go, send" (see mission). Originally "transfer of estate by will," meaning extended 1754 to "death" because that's when this happens.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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