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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.
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 demoralizing
  • In these and other ways were camp-life and the new liberty demoralizing the freedmen.
  • The effect would be demoralizing to the troops and injurious to their health.
  • Touted as a diagnostic aid for teachers and parents, the two-hour exam will begin demoralizing pre-pre-pre-adults this fall.
  • These unfavorable odds can be incredibly demoralizing.
  • So improvements in personal armor give rise to more expensive and demoralizing injuries for the same weapons.
  • There is a strange and demoralizing aspect of this situation.
  • The film's not meant to be demoralizing or some stark political agitprop.
  • In these and in other ways were camp life and the new liberty demoralizing the freedmen.
  • By the same token, foreigners' hatred can be surprisingly demoralizing.
  • These street fights are demoralizing for our soldiers.
British Dictionary definitions for demoralizing


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
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Word Origin and History for demoralizing



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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