Definition of demand in English:



  • 1An insistent and peremptory request, made as of right:

    ‘a series of demands for far-reaching reforms’
    • ‘The universities will have to earn their right to charge by meeting government demands for what it calls ‘wider access’.’
    • ‘His ideas proved an important source for modern demands for freedom of information.’
    • ‘That is why there is such constant pressure for high-profile policing, with demands for more officers on the beat.’
    • ‘Even if a proper capability development process was instituted, it could never have restrained Hitler's insistent demands for weapons of retaliation.’
    • ‘He was faced with the great challenge of updating a decrepit and wasteful government system and responding to demands for increased freedom while maintaining order.’
    • ‘No doubt, these demands are the basic demands for the safety, dignity and development of Muslims.’
    • ‘In 1975, the French Government began to accommodate increasingly insistent demands for independence.’
    • ‘The second limitation is that those outside the regime have not been able to link the demands for democratisation to the demands for social progress.’
    • ‘At the core of the controversy were insistent African demands for greater participation in government and European fears of losing political control.’
    • ‘In any event, most of the dispute relates to the issue of retroactivity and whether demands for financial assistance were made before the official request.’
    • ‘Back then there were worker protests, out-of-town reporters and excited demands for tariffs on imported steel.’
    • ‘Requests for the money soon follow, the demands for which increase until the recipients finally realise that there is no fortune and that they've been duped.’
    • ‘It has brought insistent demands for a further enquiry about the intelligence services and weapons of mass destruction.’
    • ‘Requests for trade were followed by demands for forts and land.’
    • ‘Payers in the public and private health systems face the challenge of increasing demands for effective but expensive medicines.’
    • ‘Federal intelligence law bans those who receive certain types of demands for records from challenging the order or even telling anyone they have received it.’
    • ‘With the economy slowing down, it is set to demand even more money to cover the expected increased demands for welfare payments.’
    • ‘It is also less likely to be hijacked by frivolous requests or by demands for unrealistically large quantities of material by one particular lobby group.’
    • ‘It's just another challenge on top of all the demands for accountability and raising test scores.’
    • ‘Donor agencies are also putting pressure on the government to control spending and resist demands for further wage hikes.’
    request, call
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    1. 1.1usually demands Pressing requirements:
      ‘he's got enough demands on his time already’
      • ‘The growing awareness of this condition is creating increasing demands on psychiatric care services.’
      • ‘Despite the benefits, speech recognition systems place specific demands on students.’
      • ‘It places demands on the reader and requires change and development.’
      • ‘Celebrity doesn't place any demands on a person; it requires nothing but itself.’
      • ‘Ultimately, he says, we must bring our demands on the planet's resources more in line with what the planet can sustain.’
      • ‘Children are maturing quicker than before and there are increasing demands on today's young parents.’
      • ‘Unlike other biceps exercises, the preacher curl places specific demands on form.’
      • ‘The demands on higher education require a fundamental change in direction - and technology can facilitate that change.’
      • ‘Some bars' licensing conditions in the city also place other demands on the owners of bars.’
      • ‘He said although the service attracted younger wardens, the younger generation tended to have demands on their time.’
      • ‘There are many pressing demands on limited incomes.’
      • ‘Sports that involve facing a competitor in a direct struggle place different demands on a person than sports that require solitary concentration.’
      • ‘The fitness, stamina agility and dedication it requires must place great demands on the body.’
      • ‘You may find yourself needing to pay more attention to offshore projects, leading to increased demands on management time and training requirements.’
      • ‘I can already hear community leaders complaining that the budget for parks is necessarily limited by other more pressing demands on the public purse.’
      • ‘To be a success as a serious work of art it should not be necessary to make heavy demands on the intellect.’
      • ‘The requirement for greater flexibility of thought also places increased demands on one's judgment and intuition.’
      • ‘Because of the increasing demands on young figure skaters, some medical concerns have arisen.’
      • ‘As you know, each track poses quite specific demands on the car.’
      • ‘The characterization of particle motion imposes demands on the temporal and spatial resolution required for the measurement.’
      requirement, need, desire, wish, want
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    2. 1.2[mass noun] The desire of consumers, clients, employers, etc. for a particular commodity, service, or other item:
      ‘a recent slump in demand’
      [count noun] ‘a demand for specialists’
      • ‘Demand for Thai products among Cambodians is as high as 70 percent.’
      • ‘Demand for water treatment products has been enhanced by concern for environmental protection.’
      • ‘In addition, server customers tend to demand higher performing systems well ahead of consumers.’
      • ‘Demand for tickets is again expected to be considerable this week.’
      • ‘But we are not here to apologise for the standards that customers are increasingly demanding.’
      market, call, appetite, desire
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  • 1[reporting verb] Ask authoritatively or brusquely:

    [with direct speech] ‘‘Where is she?’ he demanded’
    [with clause] ‘the police demanded that he give them the names’
    • ‘He went to a former girlfriend's home, demanding to speak to her.’
    • ‘‘Where are our girls?’ they demanded in a hoarse whisper.’
    • ‘Officials marched in with police back-up, demanding to see the staff's working permits.’
    • ‘In response, students occupied the police station and demanded they be arrested as well.’
    • ‘On whose authority, he demanded, was such a barbarous act to be committed?’
    • ‘Not one to be fobbed off lightly, I demanded to speak to the manager.’
    • ‘A one-page letter demanded to see all software licences to prove the software wasn't counterfeit.’
    • ‘At first, she angrily demanded to know where he had been.’
    • ‘The protesters made speeches and unfurled banners and posters accusing the regent of being corrupt and demanding the police investigate him.’
    • ‘After some time he demanded loudly to be carried.’
    • ‘They were demanding that the erring police officials be arrested and action taken against them.’
    • ‘The MP is now demanding an explanation from the chief executive of the trust.’
    • ‘Medical reports confirm he is in a terminal decline and lawyers have written to prison authorities demanding he is released on compassionate grounds.’
    • ‘I was therefore not surprised one evening to hear a deaf elderly woman loudly demanding to see him.’
    • ‘The protestors demanded to see the mayor but were refused.’
    • ‘Politicians and patients' groups are now demanding to know how health officials managed to get it so wrong.’
    • ‘‘Then tell me the truth,’ she demands in a whisper in between kisses.’
    • ‘The scorer walked up to him in a tea break and brusquely demanded to know his name.’
    • ‘‘Open the gates,’ she demanded in a low, threatening voice.’
    • ‘‘Well?’ he demanded in a husky voice when the silence continued.’
    order to, command to, tell to, call on to, enjoin to, urge to
    ask, enquire, question, interrogate
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    1. 1.1[with object] Insist on having:
      ‘an outraged public demanded retribution’
      ‘too much was being demanded of the top players’
      • ‘That, like most things in life, varies on a day-to-day basis and it can never be demanded of you.’
      • ‘The Republicans also demanded more campaign money and help for the upcoming election.’
      • ‘Forgiveness can never be demanded of victims and certainly not in the absence of admissions of wrongdoing.’
      • ‘A similar performance is also demanded of the footsoldiers on the pitch.’
      • ‘The time has come to ask hard questions about how much further change should be demanded of the civil service.’
      • ‘More has been demanded of developing players since youth academies were set up after the 1989 revolution.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The more the government does, the more that is demanded of it.’
      • ‘He is among a growing band of farmers and organisations demanding a full public inquiry into the Government's handling of the crisis.’
      • ‘The company offered its drivers massive pay increases to keep them and the conductors also demanded more money.’
      • ‘All of the questions were well laid out, students knew what was demanded of them and they typically had plenty of time.’
      • ‘My laptop is straining under the weight of what is demanded of it.’
      • ‘But a police officer should not demand more than his commander has given to him.’
      • ‘The nonsmokers could demand what they wanted in exchange for their rations.’
      • ‘Over the next two years it is probable that teachers, local government, the police and others will demand more.’
      • ‘Strict conformity to harsh social norms was demanded of everyone, regardless of status or wealth.’
      • ‘When cornered by a hostile and armed rabble, it is demanded of them that they attempt to take a consensual approach.’
      • ‘Yet most Americans believe crime is on the rise and are demanding public officials do something about it.’
      insist on, stipulate, make a condition of, exact, impose
      call for, ask for, request, press for, push for, hold out for, clamour for, bay for
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    2. 1.2 Require; need:
      ‘a complex activity demanding detailed knowledge’
      • ‘It is a subtle and complex book, and it demands a knowledge of history and philosophy as well as of science.’
      • ‘And because embroidery demands precision it requires sharp focus at all times.’
      • ‘One of the rescuers described cave diving as a highly dangerous activity, which demanded great skill.’
      • ‘Examining the legality of the route demands a detailed proportionality assessment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nothing less will be demanded or required on Tuesday evening.’
      • ‘The music is at times extraordinary complex, and it demands three to four times the number of rehearsals required for almost any other opera.’
      • ‘The growing list of mass casualty threats requiring preparedness now demands a heightened level of knowledge and skill for critical care nurses.’
      • ‘Pruning requirements demand some knowledge of the individual species on hand.’
      • ‘He demands detailed contracts for everything, despite the protests of natives used to short-form deal memos.’
      • ‘Most of these activities rely on traditionally acquired skills that do not demand modern technical knowledge.’
      • ‘True, it is often a blunt instrument when the requirements of justice demand sensitive application in complex human situations.’
      • ‘Now the learner is in a position to demand the education they require rather than taking what is on offer.’
      • ‘The process is most advanced in the physical sciences, in which research activity demands a large amount of expensive equipment.’
      • ‘Each of these activities demands resources and takes attention away from, let's say, some more fundamental types of educational needs.’
      • ‘Democracy doesn't require - it demands a full and rigorous debate of this Bill.’
      • ‘An all out performance requires and demands vigorous muscular effort, but only during the most propulsive phase of a stroke.’
      • ‘Community groups got intensely involved, demanding a wealth of detailed information.’
      require, need, necessitate, call for, take, involve, entail
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  • in demand

    • Sought after:

      ‘all these skills are much in demand’
      • ‘I can't foresee a time when the sort of skills we've accumulated will no longer be in demand.’
      • ‘Much has changed in the past decade, and now car hire services are very much in demand in the country.’
      • ‘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 news from the estate agents is that the demand for new homes is still very much in demand.’
      • ‘The women painted by the Raja have never been as much in demand in the art market as they are today.’
      • ‘Our steel industry has been affected by slowdown in demand and has suffered large losses.’
      • ‘The increase came despite a fall off in demand for office space from hard hit tech and telecom firms.’
      • ‘Previously it was the new kids on the block with the latest skills who were in demand.’
      • ‘His widget is in demand and despite the distance from the marketplace he is competitive.’
      sought-after, desired, coveted, wanted, requested, required
      marketable, desirable, popular, in vogue, fashionable, all the rage, at a premium, like gold dust
      big, trendy, hot, to die for
      all the go
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  • on demand

    • As soon as or whenever required:

      ‘a combination boiler provides hot water on demand’
      [as modifier] ‘an on-demand movie service on broadband’
      • ‘Free booze and nibbles are available on demand - you just help yourself.’
      • ‘It had required people to produce their ID card on demand by the police.’
      • ‘There is a fine restaurant, and room service provides high-quality food and drink on demand from a short menu.’
      • ‘One person doesn't get buy a book then print their own free editions of it, on demand, for anyone who's interested.’
      • ‘This was changed in 2001, after legislation was put in place which allows anyone to opt for a postal vote on demand.’
      • ‘From early in the morning to late at night, it provides health care on demand.’
      • ‘Feeding a baby on demand - as opposed to the regular structure of a bottle - can have advantages, too.’
      • ‘The Minister was not in a position to produce a valid ticket on demand.’
      • ‘In Calcutta, there is no waiting list as connections are available on demand.’
      • ‘The idea of providing applications on demand as Web services, for sure, was not a new invention.’


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.