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See also: Demotic



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First attested in 1822, from Ancient Greek δημοτικός (dēmotikós, common), from δημότης (dēmótēs, commoner), from δῆμος (dêmos, the common people).



demotic (not comparable)

  1. Of or for the common people.
    • 2014 March 1, Rupert Christiansen, “English translations rarely sing”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review), page R19:
      Anything grandiose or historically based tends to sound flat and banal when it reaches English, partly because translators get stuck between contradictory imperatives: juggling fidelity to the original sense with what is vocally viable, they tend to resort to a genteel fustian which lacks either poetic resonance or demotic realism, adding to a sense of artificiality rather than enhancing credibility.
  2. Of, relating to, or written in the vulgar form of ancient Egyptian hieratic writing, with simplified, cursive hieroglyphs.
  3. Of, relating to, or written in the form of modern vernacular Greek.
    demotic Greek

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


  • (of the vulgar form of hieratic writing): enchorial



demotic (plural demotics)

  1. (linguistics) Language as spoken or written by the common people.
    • 2010, John C. Wells, accents map
      Note the intrusion into British demotic (“me and Cheryl were having”) of the valley-girl quotative be, like.