Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


The painter can accumulate ugliness, but I do not remember a demon worth the name.

Truly a demon had possessed him: might not an angel have been by him as he slept?

All that fiendish cruelty and the demon of destruction could do was done.

Diablo was cutting down the lead the other two held over him, galloping like a demon.

With your lying tongue you have changed her into a demon to persecute me!

He dreaded the demon of sleeplessness, which he felt had marked him for its own.

A demon addicted to the reprehensible habit of devouring the dead.

Such an angel of charity to the poor, such a demon of obstinacy with the rich!

To the priest who gave her absolution she said, "I am dying because I listened to and believed the demon."

The demon of oppression had hidden her head ashamed, and fled to her den!


c.1200, from Latin daemon "spirit," from Greek daimon "deity, divine power; lesser god; guiding spirit, tutelary deity" (sometimes including souls of the dead); "one's genius, lot, or fortune;" from PIE *dai-mon- "divider, provider" (of fortunes or destinies), from root *da- "to divide" (see tide).

Used (with daimonion) in Christian Greek translations and Vulgate for "god of the heathen" and "unclean spirit." Jewish authors earlier had employed the Greek word in this sense, using it to render shedim "lords, idols" in the Septuagint, and Matt. viii:31 has daimones, translated as deofol in Old English, feend or deuil in Middle English. Another Old English word for this was hellcniht, literally "hell-knight."

The original mythological sense is sometimes written daemon for purposes of distinction. The Demon of Socrates was a daimonion, a "divine principle or inward oracle." His accusers, and later the Church Fathers, however, represented this otherwise. The Demon Star (1895) is Algol.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.