Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

demand - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb demand pronunciation in American English /dɪˈmænd/
Word Forms
present tense
present participledemanding
past tensedemanded
past participledemanded
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [transitive] to say in a very firm way that you want something
    demand to know/see:

    She demanded to know what was happening.

    demand (that):

    The panel demanded that the report be made public.

    demand something of someone:

    Slowly he counted out the amount demanded of him.

    1. a.
      to ask a question in a very firm or angry way

      “Where do you think you’re going?” she demanded.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to say that people must have something that you consider necessary
    demand something of/from someone:

    I demand a lot of others but more of myself.

    He demanded – and receivedgreat loyalty from his employees.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] if a situation or activity demands something, that thing is necessary

      This is a complex task and demands a high level of skill.

      His work demands attention from all serious critics.

      if/when/as (the) occasion demands:

      When the occasion demanded, they could be truly charming.



a title used before a man or woman's name as a gender-neutral alternative to Mr, Ms, etc

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


another way of saying congratulations, or that something/someone looks nice or fascinating

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play