• WordNet 3.6
    • v demoralize confuse or put into disorder "the boss's behavior demoralized everyone in the office"
    • v demoralize lower someone's spirits; make downhearted "These news depressed her","The bad state of her child's health demoralizes her"
    • v demoralize corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality "debauch the young people with wine and women","Socrates was accused of corrupting young men","Do school counselors subvert young children?","corrupt the morals"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. t Demoralize To corrupt or undermine in morals; to destroy or lessen the effect of moral principles on; to render corrupt or untrustworthy in morals, in discipline, in courage, spirit, etc.; to weaken in spirit or efficiency. "The demoralizing example of profligate power and prosperous crime.""The vices of the nobility had demoralized the army."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • demoralize To corrupt or undermine the morals of; weaken or destroy the effect of moral principles on.
    • demoralize To deprive of spirit or energy; dishearten; destroy the courage, confidence, or hope of; render incapable of brave or energetic effort: specifically used in relation to troops: as, the charge of our cavalry completely demoralized the enemy's left wing.
    • demoralize To throw into confusion in general; bring into disorder; confuse mentally: as, he was badly demoralized by fright.
    • demoralize Also spelled demoralise.
    • ***


  • David Ogilvy
    David Ogilvy
    “Set exorbitant standards, and give your people hell when they don't live up to them. There is nothing so demoralizing as a boss who tolerates second rate work.”
  • Edmund Wilson
    Edmund Wilson
    “There is nothing more demoralizing than a small but adequate income.”
  • Harriet Braiker
    Harriet Braiker
    “Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.”
  • Howard M. Jones
    Howard M. Jones
    “I, for one, hope that youth will again revolt and again demoralize the dead weight of conformity that now lies upon us.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. démoraliser,; pref. dé-,L. dis-, or de,) + moraliser,. See Moralize


In literature:

Unbounded is the demoralization produced by this monstrous perversion of the first principles of nature.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXLV. July, 1844. Vol. LVI." by Various
In that minute of demoralization the Grays had their chance, but only for a minute.
"The Last Shot" by Frederick Palmer
The constant demand for money in excess of the incomes had proved demoralizing.
"The Bay State Monthly, Volume II. No. 2, November, 1884" by Various
Good Heavens, it was enough to demoralize God Almighty himself, and all His angels!
"The Downfall" by Emile Zola
This ruin would better be attributed to the general demoralization of the times than to any definite policy.
"The Old Franciscan Missions Of California" by George Wharton James
The mixed drinks, which are held in such high esteem in this community, are, in my opinion, utterly demoralizing.
"Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories" by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
The soldiers still among us were miserably demoralized by the entrance of the fugitives from Woerth.
"Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 31. October, 1873." by Various
Frank had got demoralized, and expected them.
"Real Folks" by Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
Ericsson and his agent, Mr. Bushnell, were thoroughly disheartened and demoralized at this failure to interest the Government in their plans.
"The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln" by Francis Fisher Browne
The non-observance of either of these two points produces a demoralizing effect.
"Wanted, a Young Woman to Do Housework" by C. Helene Barker

In poetry:

Now mark how, by Draconic rule
And HAUTEUR ill-advised,
The noblest crew upon the Blue
May be demoralized.
"The Martinet" by William Schwenck Gilbert
One morn, demoralized with grief,
The farmer clamored for relief;
And prayed right hard to understand
What witchcraft now possessed his land;
Why house and farm in misery grew
Since he nailed up that “lucky” shoe.
"The Lucky Horseshoe" by James Thomas Fields

In news:

It was written by 20-year-old Jessica Roy, an NYU student, and though it was short and vague, it indicated that the author had just recently suffered her first really demoralizing New York Media Experience.
The Politics of Demoralization .
Militants attack Pakistani Army as part of new demoralization campaign.
The company is demoralizing their employees without realizing it.
Soldier reports Price's troops were ' demoralized '.
I have a demoralized work force.
Iranian opposition demoralized after failed protests at revolution's anniversary.
After demoralizing loss to FSU, Virginia Tech's bowl streak in serious jeopardy.
The Paperboy plays at hardcore, to demoralizing results.
One Of The Most Demoralizing Bills' Losses Ever.
Reeling from demoralizing road trip, struggling Capitals in search of a spark.
Verzbicas set to rebound from ' demoralizing ' debut.
Democrats Suffer ' Demoralizing ' Defeats In New York And Nevada.
His killing by US operatives will to some extent demoralize followers in those networks.
When a ghosted book is successful, watching someone else get credit for your work is demoralizing.