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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.
Origin of demoralize
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for demoralized
  • They were often demoralized, but they came into work everyday with a recognition that there were some things that they could do.
  • Those who faltered were often demoralized before the event, while those who excelled were optimistic.
  • All of us listening to the radio were totally shocked and demoralized by this news.
  • He was persecuted, arrested and demoralized by the selfishness of the people who are supposed to care.
  • Its leadership is now timid and its staff demoralized.
  • The refugees give the impression of being severely demoralized.
  • Even the best people can be demoralized by years of persecution and the shock of regaining their lost stature.
  • By the time he returned, other fighters had gathered nearby and were obviously demoralized.
  • Others were standing around in a demoralized little group.
  • The family was horrified and demoralized by their new father.
British Dictionary definitions for demoralized


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 demoralized



c.1793, "to corrupt the morals of," from French démoraliser, from de- "remove" (see de-) + moral (adj.) (see moral). Said to be a coinage of the French Revolution. Sense of "lower the morale of" (especially of armies) is first recorded 1848. Related: Demoralized; demoralizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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