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[dih-moht] /dɪˈmoʊt/
verb (used with object), demoted, demoting.
to reduce to a lower grade, rank, class, or position (opposed to promote):
They demoted the careless waiter to busboy.
1890-95, Americanism; de- + (pro)mote
Related forms
demotion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for demote
  • To demote, when it came in during the war, was scarcely challenged.
  • It will become illegal for businesses to hire, promote or demote people on grounds of age.
  • However, make a mistake and the coach will demote you.
  • It's against the law to dock her pay or demote her to a lesser position because of pregnancy.
  • Seniority also is used to determine the rights of employees to demote in lieu of layoff.
  • The act also made it unlawful to fire or demote for political reasons employees who were covered by the law.
  • When an idea gets posted, others can help promote or demote the idea and provide comments.
  • When your idea gets posted, others can help promote or demote the idea and provide comments.
  • Public bodies must serve written notice upon employees they intend to terminate, discipline, or demote.
  • In case the board determines to remove or demote the chief of police, he shall be notified in writing.
British Dictionary definitions for demote


(transitive) to lower in rank or position; relegate
Derived Forms
demotion, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for demote
1893, Amer.Eng. coinage from de- + (pro)mote. The original reference describes it as "used generally in that section of the country" (Iowa, U.S.A.), which implies an earlier date. Related: Demotion (1901).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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