Demand Definition. What does Demand mean?



Demand is a very versatile word and depending on the context can have many different meanings. It can either be used as a noun or a verb and both have different meanings depending on the context they are used in.

Meaning of Demand:

1. Noun

We often use demand when we make a strong request for something.

  • My son thinks that by crying we will give into his demand for more ice-cream.
  • The President refused the demand of congress to act on gun control.

We also use demand in a noun format to express a need for something to be sold or supplied.

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  • In the past, there was a much higher demand for big cars.
  • Good English teachers from Canada are always in great demand.

In its plural form demands can mean the difficult and challenging things people have to do.

  • The demands of being a working mom can be exhausting.
  • Hi new boss puts a lot of demands on him and he is ready to quit.

2. Verb

As a verb, we use demand to ask for something in an aggressive manner in such a way that refusing the request is not an option.

  • My wife demanded an explanation as to why I was 3 hours late for dinner.
  • Her boss always demanded only they best for her and was even more demanding on herself.

We will also use demand to express the need of something, especially time, effort of a specific quality.

  • The work I do in research and development demands a lot of ingenuity and innovative thought.
  • The energy demands of the new phones today are much less.


Francis: Hey Paul, you look exhausted.

Paul: Yeah it is the demands of my new job.

Francis: Really, your boss is that demanding?

Paul: My family also demands a lot of my time too, so it is really hard to have a good work life balance.

Francis: Yes, I can imagine. Having a family demands a lot of energy and time.

Paul: Yes, and my youngest son things he can demand things and we will give in, he makes my wife so angry sometimes.

Related Phrases & Phrasal Verbs:

Call for – in the context of demand, we use this when someone makes a public request in a authoritative manner.

  • The rights group called for the immediate halt to the new government policy and demanded that those hurt be compensated.

Go over – we use this phrase, in the context of demand, to say that someone is examining something in great detail.

  • This report is so demanding I have to go over these figures and make sure everything is correct.

Call on/upon – we will use this to request something formally. In the case of demand, it is used in a much stronger context and surrounding context.

  • The Bishop called upon his clergy to demand from the government support for the refugees.

Insist on – in the context of demand, we would use this phrase when we request something where there is no other choice, it is something that must be done.

  • My wife insisted on going on holidays, I don’t think she understands the demands of my job.

Related idioms:

Put through the wringer – this is an idiom we use in the context of demand, to say that someone has faced a demanding and difficult experience.

Put the screws to – in the context of demand, we use this phrase to saw that someone puts excessive pressure on someone to do something.

Give the third degree – when someone is asked many demanding questions, we say they got the third degree.

Throw down the gauntlet – in this context of demand, this is used to express a final request in a forceful and aggressive way.

Put one’s foot down – to firmly and forcibly demand that someone do something

Lay the down the law – to express to someone they must say and do something.

Synonyms (other ways to say):







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