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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.
Origin of demote
1890-95, Americanism; de- + (pro)mote
Related forms
demotion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for demotion
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Historical Examples
  • He just felt that he was reasonably secure against promotion, and that he need not be afraid of "demotion."

    John Wesley, Jr. Dan B. Brummitt
British Dictionary definitions for demotion


(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 demotion

1901, agent noun from demote (v.).



1881, American English coinage from de- + stem of promote. Said to have been Midwestern in origin.

Regarding an antithesis to 'promote,' the word universally in use in Cambridge, in Harvard College, is drop. The same word is in use in the leading schools here (Boston). I hope I may be counted every time against such barbarisms as 'demote' and 'retromote.' [Edward Everett Hale, 1892, letter to the publishers of "Funk & Wagnalls' Standard Dictionary"]
Related: Demoted; demoting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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