Meaning of “demand” in the English Dictionary

"demand" in British English

See all translations

demandverb [ T ]

uk /dɪˈmɑːnd/ us /dɪˈmænd/

demand verb [ T ] (REQUEST)

B1 to ask for something forcefully, in a way that shows that you do not expect to be refused:

I demanded an explanation.
The union is demanding a seven percent pay rise this year.
He has always demanded the highest standards of behaviour from his children.
[ + speech ] "And where do you think you're going?" demanded the police officer.
[ + to infinitive ] I demand to see the manager.
[ + that ] She demanded that he return the books he borrowed from her.

More examples


uk /dɪˈmɑːnd/ us /dɪˈmænd/

demand noun (REQUEST)

B1 [ C ] a strong request:

You can't give in to children's demands all the time.
The government is unlikely to agree to the rebels' demands for independence.
UK They received a final demand (= a last request) for payment.

More examples

demand noun (NEED)

B2 [ C or U ] a need for something to be sold or supplied:

There was little demand for tickets.
Good teachers are always in (great) demand (= are always needed).
demands [ plural ]

the difficult things that you have to do:

The demands of nursing are too great for a lot of people.
His new job makes a lot of demands on him (= he has to work very hard).


(Definition of “demand” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"demand" in American English

See all translations


us /dɪˈmænd/

to ask for forcefully, in a way that shows that refusal is not expected and will not be accepted:

[ T ] The library demanded $5 for each book returned late.
[ + to infinitive ] I demand to see the person in charge.

To demand is also to need something:

[ T ] The twins demand a lot of attention.

demandnoun [ C/U ]

us /dɪˈmænd/

something asked for forcefully, or something that you accept as necessary:

[ C ] The union’s major demand was for improved benefits.
[ C ] The demands of nursing are too great for a lot of people.

Demand is also need:

[ C ] We can’t meet the demand for tickets to the game.
[ U ] Good teachers are always in demand (= needed).

Demand is also the desire to buy goods:

There was weak demand for imported goods last month.

(Definition of “demand” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"demand" in Business English

See all translations


uk /dɪˈmɑːnd/ us

[ S or U ] COMMERCE, ECONOMICS a need for goods or services that customers want to buy or use:

high/strong/huge demand
a decline/drop/shift in demand
Colourful Ceramics hope to tap into the demand for products made out of recycled materials.
a rise/increase/boom in demand
demand rises/grows/falls As populations age, demand rises for ever more complex and expensive health treatments.
to increase/decrease/satisfy demand
Safecare says it has thrived by meeting a demand for affordable insurance.
For the moment, strong customer demand is helping all four operators grow quickly.
Rising prices for land and the need for security create demand for gated high-rise units.
bolster/boost/fuel demand The dollar rose as buying of U.S. securities bolstered demand for the currency.

[ U ] ECONOMICS the fact of customers buying goods and using services in an economy, and the amount that they buy:

demand grows/recovers Pilkington said prices and demand were growing in Europe.
There are signs of a slowdown in domestic demand.
Grain prices are increasing, helped by both the strengthening U.S. economy and accelerating demand from China.

[ C ] a strong request for something:

a demand for sth/a demand that There was a demand that customers be compensated for the inconvenience they had suffered.
accept/agree to/reject a demand

[ C ] a letter requesting that someone pays money that they owe:

Defaulting customers received a final demand for payment.

[ plural ] the things that a particular situation or person makes necessary:

demands on sb/sth Most managers feel there are too many demands on their time.
changing/competing/conflicting demands Staff are forced to face the conflicting demands of workplace and home.
meet/respond to/satisfy the demands of sth Farmers need to modernize their tobacco production to meet the demands of a competitive market.
in demand

used for describing goods or services that customers would buy or use if they were available:

Banking shares were also in demand, amid continued hopes of consolidation in the sector.
The company must develop the right products - those that are in demand by their prospective clientele.
on demand

as soon as a request is made:

The bank stated that there was little point in adding to small firms' worries by making overdrafts payable on demand.

whenever you need or want it:

Television, movies, music, and computer games are now available on demand in homes over high-speed data links.
The network is available on various cable operators' on-demand services.
the law of demand

ECONOMICS an economic law that states that people buy less of a product when the price is high, and more when the price is low:

This is the normal law of demand, in which the quantity of corn demanded increases as the price of corn declines.

demandverb [ T ]

uk /dɪˈmɑːnd/ us

to make a strong request for something:

Miller was expected to go back to the bidders last night to demand a further rise in price.
If the Revenue thinks you have underpaid it will demand payment and can charge a penalty of interest.
Shareholders in the company are demanding the resignation of the chief executive.

(Definition of “demand” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)