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[dih-mawr-uh-lahyz, -mor-] /dɪˈmɔr əˌlaɪz, -ˈmɒr-/
verb (used with object), demoralized, demoralizing.
to deprive (a person or persons) of spirit, courage, discipline, etc.; destroy the morale of:
The continuous barrage demoralized the infantry.
to throw (a person) into disorder or confusion; bewilder:
We were so demoralized by that one wrong turn that we were lost for hours.
to corrupt or undermine the morals of.
Also, especially British, demoralise.
1785-95; < French démoraliser. See de-, moral, -ize
Related forms
demoralization, noun
demoralizer, noun
demoralizingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for demoralization
  • He urged others to use the past to find inspiration to dispel resignation, deference, and demoralization.
  • No cowardly rendition of prisoners for torturing by third countries, thereby contributing to their corruption and demoralization.
  • The inevitable result is the demoralization of politics.
  • To be sure, there is no panic, no sense of general demoralization.
  • demoralization feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
  • It is not meant to be one long damning indictment, or an endless chronicle of demoralization and brutalization.
British Dictionary definitions for demoralization


verb (transitive)
to undermine the morale of; dishearten he was demoralized by his defeat
to debase morally; corrupt
to throw into confusion
Derived Forms
demoralization, demoralisation, noun
demoralizer, 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
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Word Origin and History for demoralization
c.1793, "to corrupt the morals of," from Fr. demoraliser, from de- "remove" + moral (adj.) (see moral). Said to be a coinage of the Fr. Revolution. Sense of "lower the morale of" (especially of armies) is first recorded 1848.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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