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From Old French demonstration, from Latin demonstrationem, from demonstrare (show or explain), from de- (of or concerning) + monstrare (show).



demonstration (countable and uncountable, plural demonstrations)

  1. The act of demonstrating; showing or explaining something.
    • 1577, Socrates Scholasticus [i.e., Socrates of Constantinople], “Constantinus the Emperour Summoneth the Nicene Councell, it was Held at Nicæa a Citie of Bythnia for the Debatinge of the Controuersie about the Feast of Easter, and the Rootinge out of the Heresie of Arius”, in Eusebius Pamphilus; Socrates Scholasticus; Evagrius Scholasticus; Dorotheus; Meredith Hanmer, transl., The Avncient Ecclesiasticall Histories of the First Six Hundred Yeares after Christ, Wrytten in the Greeke Tongue by Three Learned Historiographers, Eusebius, Socrates, and Euagrius. [...], book I (The First Booke of the Ecclesiasticall Historye of Socrates Scholasticvs), imprinted at London: By Thomas Vautroullier dwelling in the Blackefriers by Ludgate, OCLC 55193813, page 225:
      [VV]e are able with playne demonſtration to proue, and vvith reaſon to perſvvade that in tymes paſt our fayth vvas alike, that then vve preached thinges correſpondent vnto the forme of faith already published of vs, ſo that none in this behalfe can repyne or gaynesay vs.
  2. An event at which something will be demonstrated.
    I have to give a demonstration to the class tomorrow, and I'm ill-prepared.
  3. A public display of group opinion.
  4. A show of military force.
  5. A mathematical proof.
    • a. 1697, John Aubrey, Brief Lives, s.v. Thomas Hobbes:
      He read the proposition. [] So he reads the demonstration of it, which referred him back to such a proposition,; which proposition he read.

Related terms[edit]


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demonstration c (singular definite demonstrationen, plural indefinite demonstrationer)

  1. demonstration


Further reading[edit]