Definition of demand in English:

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Pronunciation: /dəˈmand/


1An insistent and peremptory request, made as if by right: a series of demands for far-reaching reforms
More example sentences
  • It has brought insistent demands for a further enquiry about the intelligence services and weapons of mass destruction.
  • At the core of the controversy were insistent African demands for greater participation in government and European fears of losing political control.
  • Even if a proper capability development process was instituted, it could never have restrained Hitler's insistent demands for weapons of retaliation.
request, call, command, order, dictate, ultimatum, stipulation
1.1 (demands) Pressing requirements: he’s got enough demands on his time already
More example sentences
  • The fitness, stamina agility and dedication it requires must place great demands on the body.
  • I can already hear community leaders complaining that the budget for parks is necessarily limited by other more pressing demands on the public purse.
  • There are many pressing demands on limited incomes.
requirement, need, desire, wish, want;
claim, imposition
1.2 Economics The desire of purchasers, consumers, clients, employers, etc., for a particular commodity, service, or other item: a recent slump in demand a demand for specialists
More example sentences
  • Demand for water treatment products has been enhanced by concern for environmental protection.
  • Demand for Thai products among Cambodians is as high as 70 percent.
  • Demand for tickets is again expected to be considerable this week.
market, call, appetite, desire


[reporting verb]
1Ask authoritatively or brusquely: [with direct speech]: “Where is she?” he demanded [with clause]: the police demanded that he give them the names
More example sentences
  • The scorer walked up to him in a tea break and brusquely demanded to know his name.
  • They were demanding that the erring police officials be arrested and action taken against them.
  • Officials marched in with police back-up, demanding to see the staff's working permits.
order, command, enjoin, urge
literary bid
ask, inquire, question, interrogate;
1.1 [with object] Insist on having: an outraged public demanded retribution too much was being demanded of the top players
More example sentences
  • The more the government does, the more that is demanded of it.
  • All of the questions were well laid out, students knew what was demanded of them and they typically had plenty of time.
  • It is a long time since so little was expected of the player who, at 32, now finds that a major triumph is routinely demanded of him.
call for, ask for, request, push for, hold out for;
insist on, claim
insist on, stipulate, make a condition of;
expect, look for
1.2Require; need: a complex activity demanding detailed knowledge
More example sentences
  • The exercise is a delicate one which demands both detailed knowledge of the original texts and insight into the bases of contemporary feminist hostility to them.
  • True, it is often a blunt instrument when the requirements of justice demand sensitive application in complex human situations.
  • Community groups got intensely involved, demanding a wealth of detailed information.
require, need, necessitate, call for, involve, entail
1.3 Law Call into court; summon.
Example sentences
  • There was no promise that the inquiry would even sit in public or have the power to demand documents and summon witnesses.



in demand

Sought after: all these skills are much in demand
More example sentences
  • As he improved, word of mouth got round, and Alistair's skills were soon in demand.
  • Your skills are in demand like never before and chances are the situation is only to get better.
  • The women painted by the Raja have never been as much in demand in the art market as they are today.
sought-after, desired, coveted, wanted, requested;
marketable, desirable, popular, all the rage, at a premium, big, trendy, hot

on demand

As soon as or whenever required: he promised us endless coffee on demand [as modifier]: an on-demand movie service on broadband
More example sentences
  • It had required people to produce their ID card on demand by the police.
  • From early in the morning to late at night, it provides health care on demand.
  • There is a fine restaurant, and room service provides high-quality food and drink on demand from a short menu.



Example sentences
  • Anyway, I wish I could hand these demanders of authenticity a copy of any book by Miss Manners.
  • Financial institutions are simultaneously demanders in one and suppliers in another set of financial markets.
  • And since the education system is being funded by tax dollars rather than by the demanders themselves, it becomes much easier to increase salaries (regardless of competence).


Middle English (as a noun): from Old French demande (noun), demander (verb), from Latin demandare 'hand over, entrust' (in medieval Latin 'demand'), from de- 'formally' + mandare 'to order'.

  • commando from early 19th century:

    In early use commando was a word for an armed unit of Boer horsemen in South Africa. During the Second World War the name was adopted to describe troops specially trained to repel the threatened German invasion of England. The word came into English from Portuguese, but is based on Latin commandare ‘to command’ from com- (giving emphasis) and mandare ‘commit, command, entrust’. To go commando is to wear no underpants, said to be common among commandos. This curious phrase dates back to the 1980s and probably originated as American college slang, although it was popularized by its use in an episode of the 1990s TV comedy Friends. Also from South Africa and the same period is commandeer from Afrikaans. Command itself came into use in Middle English, taken from the Latin via French. From the same root come remand (Late Middle English) ‘command back’; commend (Middle English), formed in the same way as command, but with the sense ‘entrust’ and recommend (Late Middle English); and demand (Middle English) ‘command formally’.

Words that rhyme with demand

command, remand

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: de·mand

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