Meaning of “demonstrate” in the English Dictionary

"demonstrate" in British English

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uk /ˈdem.ən.streɪt/ us /ˈdem.ən.streɪt/

demonstrate verb (SHOW)

B2 [ T ] to show or make make something clear:

These numbers clearly demonstrate the size of the economic problem facing the country.
[ + that ] Research has demonstrated that babies can recognize their mother's voice very soon after birth.
These problems demonstrate the importance of strategic planning.

C1 [ T ] to show something and explain how it works:

He got a job demonstrating kitchen equipment in a department store.
[ + question word ] The teacher demonstrated how to use the equipment.

More examples

  • You need to demonstrate to the examiners that you have more than a literal understanding of the text.
  • It is impossible to demonstrate conclusively that the factory is responsible for the pollution.
  • Management have demonstrated almost unbelievable incompetence in their handling of the dispute.
  • The Australian team soon demonstrated their superiority over the opposition.
  • I can show you studies which demonstrate that some forms of alternative medicine are extremely effective.

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

"demonstrate" in American English

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us /ˈdem·ənˌstreɪt/

demonstrate verb (SHOW HOW)

[ T ] to show how to do something; explain:

[ + question word ] He demonstrated how to use the new software.
The surgeon demonstrated the use of lasers for certain operations.

demonstrate verb (PROVE)

[ T ] to show that something is true; prove:

[ + that clause ] Research demonstrates that babies can recognize their mother’s voice very soon after birth.
She was eager to demonstrate her skill at chess.

demonstrate verb (EXPRESS)

[ T ] to express or show that you have a feeling, quality, or ability:

His answer demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the question.

demonstrate verb (MARCH)

[ I ] (of a group of people) to make a public expression of complaint about a problem or support for something, esp. by marching or meeting

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

"demonstrate" in Business English

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demonstrateverb [ T ]

uk /ˈdemənstreɪt/ us

to show something, or show someone how to do something, or how a system or product works:

They demonstrated how big savings could be made with the help of the new machinery.
demonstrate sth to sb We asked them to come and demonstrate the new invoicing system to the staff.

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