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demand (v.)

late 14c., demaunden, "ask questions, make inquiry," from Old French demander (12c.) "to request; to demand," from Latin demandare "entrust, charge with a commission" (in Medieval Latin, "to ask, request, demand"), from de- "completely" (see de-) + mandare "to order" (see mandate (n.)).

Meaning "ask for with insistence or urgency" is from early 15c., from Anglo-French legal use ("to ask for as a right"). Meaning "require as necessary or useful" is by 1748. Related: Demanded; demanding.

demand (n.)

late 13c., demaunde, "a question," from Old French demande, from demander "to request; to demand" (see demand (v.)). Meaning "a request, a claim, an asking for by virtue of a right or supposed right to the thing sought," also "that which is demanded or required, exaction as a tribute or concession," without reference to right, is from c. 1300.

In the political economy sense of "desire to purchase and possess, coupled with the means to do so" (correlating to supply) it is attested from 1776 in Adam Smith. Meaning "state of being sought after" (especially by consumers) is from 1711. In demand "much sought after" is attested by 1825; on demand "on being requested" is from 1690s.

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Definitions of demand from WordNet
1
demand (v.)
request urgently and forcefully;
She demanded to see the manager
The boss demanded that he be fired immediately
The victim's family is demanding compensation
demand (v.)
require as useful, just, or proper;
This position demands a lot of personal sacrifice
Synonyms: necessitate / ask / postulate / need / require / take / involve / call for
demand (v.)
claim as due or just;
The bank demanded payment of the loan
Synonyms: exact
demand (v.)
lay legal claim to;
demand (v.)
summon to court;
demand (v.)
ask to be informed of;
I demand an explanation
2
demand (n.)
an urgent or peremptory request;
his demands for attention were unceasing
demand (n.)
the ability and desire to purchase goods and services;
the demand exceeded the supply
the automobile reduced the demand for buggywhips
demand (n.)
required activity;
there were many demands on his time
Synonyms: requirement
demand (n.)
the act of demanding;
the kidnapper's exorbitant demands for money
demand (n.)
a condition requiring relief;
there is a demand for jobs
Synonyms: need
From wordnet.princeton.edu