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


The air is also full of demons, as the rays of the sun are full of atoms.

We worked like demons in hell, and in an atmosphere almost as hot and breathless.

There could not be fewer than five hundred people, and they were dancing like five thousand demons.

When the lesser gods and demons see these halos, they hide and dare not move.

How the friends of darkness, how the demons must wince and tremble.

The Pequots behaved like demons, and the colonists treated them as such.

But with respect to demons, do we not allow that they are gods, or the children of gods?

He speaks to the demons; he threatens them, and puts them to silence.

Every body talks of apparitions of angels and demons, and of souls separated from the body.

Were they the souls of these two pagans, or two demons who assumed their form?


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.