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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ When portraying factory scenes for advertisements in trade journals he would adopt a more straight forward, demotic style.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Demotic \De*mot"ic\, a. [Gr. dhmotiko`s, fr. dh^mos the people: cf. F. d['e]motique.] Of or pertaining to the people; popular; common.

Demotic alphabet or Demotic character, a form of writing used in Egypt after six or seven centuries before Christ, for books, deeds, and other such writings; a simplified form of the hieratic character; -- called also epistolographic character, and enchorial character. See Enchorial.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1822, from Greek demotikos "of or for the common people, in common use," from demos "common people," originally "district," from PIE *da-mo- "division," from root *da- "to divide" (see tide). In contrast to hieratic. Originally of the simpler of two forms of ancient Egyptian writing; broader sense is from 1831; used of Greek since 1927.


a. 1 Of or for the common people. 2 Of, relating to, or written in the vulgar form of ancient Egyptian hieratic writing. 3 Of, relating to, or written in the form of modern vernacular Greek. n. (context linguistics English) Language as spoken or written by the common people.


Demotic (Greek for "of the people" or "folkish"); with the meaning of the vernacular form of a language, it may refer to any local vernacular language where a comparison is required. However the term is most commonly used with:

  • Demotic Greek, a variety of the Greek language
  • Demotic (Egyptian), a script and stage of the Egyptian language
  • Demotic chu nom, a script for writing Vietnamese
Demotic (Egyptian)

Demotic (from dēmotikós, "popular") is the ancient Egyptian script derived from northern forms of hieratic used in the Nile Delta, and the stage of the Egyptian language written in this script, following Late Egyptian and preceding Coptic. The term was first used by the Greek historian Herodotus to distinguish it from hieratic and hieroglyphic scripts. By convention, the word "Demotic" is capitalized in order to distinguish it from demotic Greek.

Usage examples of "demotic".

Joyce, the Irish novelist, who worked miserably as a bank clerk in Rome in the 1900s, seems to have read Belli, whose vast sonnet-sequence, presenting realistically the demotic life of a great capital city, may be regarded as a kind of proto-Ulysses.

Let him in one evening, and he spent the whole night winking my demotic charnels, and don't even ask what else.

There on the unearthed basalt slab were three long neat rows of language carved one beside the other, in hieroglyphs and ancient demotic Egyptian and Greek, simultaneous translations of a legal statute from the XXXI Dynasty.

Then there were a few lines of demotic Egyptian, even more nearly impenetrable than that Latin.

Hieroglyphs engraved on a heavy slab of stone, no less, in Menelik's very own hand, with accompanying translations engraved beneath it in demotic Egyptian and ancient Greek.

And then he showed me some Egyptian hieratics and demotics and told me those were the same animals in disguise.

They had left written documents of all sorts, inscribed on papyrus or scraps of pottery, in the cursive hieratic script or the later, even more cursive, demotic.

He was a man with wild grey hair who spoke with a cultivated accent which made his demotic vocabulary seem affected, which, if he was, as he evidently was, one of Dr Wapenshaw's patients, being rehabilitated in the same modes as Hogg himself had been, if he really had been, it probably was.

He had even commissioned the very first grammar of the demotic tongue and made it compulsory in schools, because of the theory that learning grammar promotes logicality and would therefore curb the wild, irresponsible individualism of the Greeks.