The DICT Development Group
7 definitions found
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Demon \De"mon\, n. [F. d['e]mon, L. daemon a spirit, an evil
spirit, fr. Gr. dai`mwn a divinity; of uncertain origin.]
1. (Gr. Antiq.) A spirit, or immaterial being, holding a
middle place between men and deities in pagan mythology.
The demon kind is of an intermediate nature between
the divine and the human. --Sydenham.
2. One's genius; a tutelary spirit or internal voice; as, the
demon of Socrates. [Often written d[ae]mon.]
3. An evil spirit; a devil.
That same demon that hath gulled thee thus. --Shak.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :
n 1: an evil supernatural being [syn: devil, fiend, demon,
2: a cruel wicked and inhuman person [syn: monster, fiend,
devil, demon, ogre]
3: someone extremely diligent or skillful; "he worked like a
demon to finish the job on time"; "she's a demon at math"
From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :
123 Moby Thesaurus words for "demon":
Baba Yaga, Lilith, Mafioso, Satan, Young Turk, addict, afreet,
ape-man, atua, barghest, beast, beldam, berserk, berserker, bomber,
brute, bug, cacodemon, collector, daemon, daeva, damned spirits,
demonkind, demons, denizens of hell, devil, devil incarnate,
dragon, dybbuk, eager beaver, energumen, enthusiast, evil genius,
evil spirit, evil spirits, faddist, fanatic, fiend,
fiend from hell, fire-eater, firebrand, freak, fury, genie, genius,
ghoul, goon, gorilla, great one for, gunsel, gyre, hardnose, harpy,
hell-raiser, hellcat, hellhound, hellion, hellish host, hellkite,
hobbyist, holy terror, hood, hoodlum, host of hell, hothead,
hotspur, hound, incendiary, incubus, infatuate,
inhabitants of Pandemonium, intelligence, jinni, jinniyeh, killer,
lamia, lost souls, mad dog, madcap, monster, mugger, nut, ogre,
ogress, powers of darkness, pursuer, rakshasa, rapist,
revolutionary, rhapsodist, satan, savage, she-wolf, shedu,
souls in hell, specter, spirit, spitfire, succubus, sucker for,
supernatural being, termagant, terror, terrorist, the damned,
the lost, the undead, tiger, tigress, tough, tough guy,
ugly customer, vampire, violent, virago, visionary, vixen,
werewolf, wild beast, witch, wolf, yogini, zealot
From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :
20 Moby Thesaurus words for "Demon":
His Satanic Majesty, Lucifer, Satan, Satanas, the Adversary,
the Arch-fiend, the Common Enemy, the Demon, the Devil,
the Devil Incarnate, the Evil One, the Evil Spirit, the Fiend,
the Foul Fiend, the Old Enemy, the Old Serpent, the Tempter,
the Wicked One, the archenemy, the serpent
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :
1. Often used equivalently to daemon ? especially in the Unix world,
where the latter spelling and pronunciation is considered mildly archaic.
2. [MIT; now probably obsolete] A portion of a program that is not invoked
explicitly, but that lies dormant waiting for some condition(s) to occur.
See daemon. The distinction is that demons are usually processes within a
program, while daemons are usually programs running on an operating system.
Demons in sense 2 are particularly common in AI programs. For example, a
knowledge-manipulation program might implement inference rules as demons.
Whenever a new piece of knowledge was added, various demons would activate
(which demons depends on the particular piece of data) and would create
additional pieces of knowledge by applying their respective inference rules
to the original piece. These new pieces could in turn activate more demons
as the inferences filtered down through chains of logic. Meanwhile, the
main program could continue with whatever its primary task was.
From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :
1. (Often used equivalently to daemon,
especially in the Unix world, where the latter spelling and
pronunciation is considered mildly archaic). A program or
part of a program which is not invoked explicitly, but that
lies dormant waiting for some condition(s) to occur.
At MIT they use "demon" for part of a program and "daemon"
for an operating system process.
Demons (parts of programs) are particularly common in AI
programs. For example, a knowledge-manipulation program
might implement inference rules as demons. Whenever a new
piece of knowledge was added, various demons would activate
(which demons depends on the particular piece of data) and
would create additional pieces of knowledge by applying their
respective inference rules to the original piece. These new
pieces could in turn activate more demons as the inferences
filtered down through chains of logic. Meanwhile, the main
program could continue with whatever its primary task was.
This is similar to the triggers used in relational
The use of this term may derive from "Maxwell's Demons" -
minute beings which can reverse the normal flow of heat from a
hot body to a cold body by only allowing fast moving molecules
to go from the cold body to the hot one and slow molecules
from hot to cold. The solution to this apparent thermodynamic
paradox is that the demons would require an external supply of
energy to do their work and it is only in the absence of such
a supply that heat must necessarily flow from hot to cold.
Walt Bunch believes the term comes from the demons in Oliver
Selfridge's paper "Pandemonium", MIT 1958, which was named
after the capital of Hell in Milton's "Paradise Lost".
Selfridge likened neural cells firing in response to input
patterns to the chaos of millions of demons shrieking in
2. Demon Internet Ltd.
3. A program generator for differential equation problems.
[N.W. Bennett, Australian AEC Research Establishment,
AAEC/E142, Aug 1965].
From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary :
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