Adjective "demotic" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Denoting or relating to the kind of language used by ordinary people; colloquial.
  1. 'Her interest in Aegean demotic music and the folklore of East Asia is evident in her operas Nausicaa and Sappho.'
  2. 'I can remember my sister using it in the late forties, and through such oral usage it must have been kept alive until a greater use of demotic language in the press and elsewhere in the eighties brought it to wider public notice.'
  3. 'He, of course, would say that this is conversational and demotic.'
  4. 'Handwriting and handwritten documents have become as a result increasingly demotic and spelling and grammar in personal letters appear to be increasingly seen as personal matters.'
  5. 'At that point, it leached back into the wider culture, slightly altering the rhetoric, but not necessarily the essential substance, of demotic antiscience.'
  6. 'There, around a campfire, his boyhood games of piracy and Robin Hood met the tall tale and the demotic idiom.'
  7. 'If, as he says, the era of art is over, why not open up to the full chaotic, demotic range of contemporary visual culture?'
  8. 'Basketry is the demotic craft par excellence.'
  9. 'The truth is that Doric is simply in speech the vernacular and in writing the demotic.'
  10. 'In 1967 demotic Greek was recognized as the official spoken and written language of Greece and is the language adopted for liturgical services by the Greek Orthodox church in the United States.'
  11. 'There he became interested in the differences between classical and demotic Greek.'
  12. 'Nearly all his works are based on carefully selected melodies from oral tradition, as well as from publications of Greek folk dances and demotic songs.'
  13. 'The stone, as you probably know, is inscribed with three forms of writing: Greek, hieroglyphic, and a less ornate, demotic form of Egyptian.'
  14. 'Internally, an increasing number of Greek and demotic Egyptian papyri illuminate a developing bureaucracy and control of the population through a tax system based on a census and land-survey.'
  15. 'Then he established that demotic was a still more abridged cursive form of the hieroglyphics and was generally governed by the same rules.'


Ordinary colloquial speech.
  1. 'Ultimately, few readers will be swayed by talk of the stylistic devices, the literary control, and the voice that switches from scientific to poetic to demotic and essayistic with astonishing ease and confidence.'
  2. 'It not only meant seeking ways to bridge the chasm between dance and theatre, but also to resolve the divide between high and low art, the refined and the demotic.'
  3. 'Scots as a poetic language may be synthetic to an extent, but its enduring power lies in the thrill of the demotic, making things stranger and somehow more real.'
  4. 'The power of the demotic gives his book a special charge not shared by other such compilations.'
  5. '‘Chaucer would have thoroughly absorbed the language of the streets, that rich polyglot mixture of Latin patois, Anglo-Norman phraseology and English demotic,’ he writes.'
  6. 'He may have been a public school boy, but he was also a bit of a lad, a latter-day artful dodger who spoke in a wised-up, street-smart demotic.'
  7. 'Consider how rare it now is for anyone to conceive a project like this - something that wants to be both canonical and demotic.'
  8. 'I sat beside him, silently watching as he scribbled the little symbols of demotic down.'
  9. 'Other wordplay directed humorously is less successful: the author mixes highly esoteric words with the demotic in a way that unintentionally sets up the more casual phrases to disappoint the reader.'
  10. 'The first revival was predominantly middle class in its character and personnel; the second was demotic, with little time for genteel sensibilities.'
  11. 'He did it moreover, not in the literary language of his court, Persian, but in the domestic demotic of his family, Chagatay Turkish.'
  12. 'The same piece of text had been inscribed on the stone three times, in Greek, demotic and hieroglyphics.'
  13. 'The uppermost is written in hieroglyphics; the second in what is now called demotic, the common script of ancient Egypt; and the third in Greek.'


1. of or relating to the ordinary, everyday, current form of a language; vernacular: a poet with a keen ear for demotic rhythms.

2. of or relating to the common people; popular.

3. of, relating to, or noting the simplified form of hieratic writing used in ancient Egypt between 700 b.c. and a.d. 500. noun

4. demotic script.

5. (initial capital letter). Also called Romaic. the Modern Greek vernacular (distinguished from Katharevusa).

More examples(as adjective)

"wits can be demotic."

"styles can be demotic."

"speeches can be demotic."

"phases can be demotic."

"people can be demotic."

More examples++


Early 19th century (in the sense ‘relating to the Egyptian demotic’): from Greek dēmotikos ‘popular’, from dēmotēs ‘one of the people’, from dēmos ‘the people’.