Main definitions of daemon in English

: daemon1daemon2

daemon1

(also daimon)

noun

  • 1(in ancient Greek belief) a divinity or supernatural being of a nature between gods and humans.

    • ‘‘He was a well known thief and his daemon is a black dragon,’ said Ana.’
    • ‘Exiled daemons are reincarnated into all sorts of living forms, finally coming to be as prophets, poets, physicians, and leaders among men.’
    • ‘I am an ancient daemon, and although I give the impression of being a model of youth and femininity, I have lived so many centuries I have begun to lose track.’
    • ‘Iamblichus also stressed that theurgists usually worked with lesser divinities - heroes, daimons and angels - and only the greatest of all, in exceptional circumstances, would trouble actual deities.’
    1. 1.1 An inner or attendant spirit or inspiring force.
      ‘Socrates claimed to have lived his life according to the dictates of his daimon’
      • ‘Baudelaire the poet has a special daimonic vision insofar as the poet has insight into the daimon described by Hesiod as unseen by the one being influenced.’
      • ‘Like the daimon of Socrates who indicates only what not to do, we too know instinctively, aesthetically, when a fish stinks, when the sense of beauty is offended.’
      • ‘But the idea that Socrates introduced a ‘new god’ was probably a reference to his daimon, an internal individual guiding spirit which he claimed always stopped him when he was about to do something wrong.’
      • ‘‘Every human has a daemon that amplifies their talents and protects them to a certain degree,’ said Cameron.’
      • ‘Casey's brain kicked into gear, her inner daemons flagging something from an old puzzle book.’
      • ‘The Latin equivalent of daimon is genius, the spirit double that is born and dies with a man and influences his conduct.’
      • ‘That's how the spirit is controlled - daemons are fiercely independent beings, if they can get away - they will.’
      • ‘He wasn't so sure that the welding of artist and model improved the art, that her sudden fetish for Captain Hunt's bete-noir would inspire the strumming fingers of her daemon.’
      • ‘They ‘send’ - via Mercury - those inner daemons that are bent on shaking up and shattering limiting preconceptions of who we are and what our role in life is.’
      • ‘Meeks' own concluding essay, The Christian Proteus, reminds us of the shape-changing aspect of Paul, a daimon who questions us just when we think we are questioning him.’
      • ‘It was his daimon who intervened in the Phaedrus, after Socrates had argued that it was better for a boy to yield to a man who did not love him than to a lover.’
      • ‘We follow that inner voice, that angel-like soul (that daimon, as Plato called it) - or, stifled, we can become demonic.’
      • ‘Baudelaire's mystical vision, especially in the analogy to the cat as sign and symbol of the daimon, leads to a sense that ecstasy is possible when the self is aware of its own limitations and seeks to go beyond them.’
      • ‘Thanks to the daimon who kept him from swallowing Reformist preaching in his youth, future readers will never view him as a convert.’
      inspiring force, genius, numen, demon
      inspiring force, genius, numen
      View synonyms
  • 2

    archaic spelling of demon
    • ‘is the entire town possessed by a malevolent daemon, forcing people to worship it by carving its image into fruit and vegetables, and hanging its likeness in their windows?’
    • ‘The ghosts are back; the manic daemons who make me think of spirits and kill the science.’
    • ‘Before our modern era most people who had encounters knew that what they were dealing with were daemons, dragons, gnomes, fairies and trolls.’
    • ‘Many returned to the old idea that the child was an evil spirit, or daemon sent to punish the royal family.’
    • ‘We shall send these daemons back to hell, where they belong!’

Origin

Mid 16th century: common spelling of demon until the 19th century.

Pronunciation

daemon

/ˈdiːmən/

Main definitions of daemon in English

: daemon1daemon2

daemon2

(Australian, NZ demon)

noun

Computing
  • A background process that handles requests for services such as print spooling and file transfers, and is dormant when not required.

    • ‘I added this new line with an appropriate IP address for my subnet, and restarted the named daemon.’
    • ‘You are also given a list of daemons/processes to start automatically at boot, and you can enable or disable them as you see fit.’
    • ‘The slave component is run as a daemon (Unix) or system service (Win 32).’
    • ‘Unlike some of the other daemons we have covered in this series, these two have interactive user programs that control them.’
    • ‘Before you can start using the administration daemon over the network, you have to create a keytab file containing the key for one of the kadmin principals created when we initialized our realm.’

Origin

1980s: perhaps from d(isk) a(nd) e(xecution) mon(itor) or from de(vice) mon(itor), or a transferred use of demon.

Pronunciation

daemon

/ˈdiːmən/