What is the difference between ‘demise' and ‘death'?
(R. Sangeeta, Bangalore)
While both words mean ‘end or ending of life', demise is mostly used in formal contexts to refer to the death of someone or something very important or well known. One usually talks about the demise of a Prime Minister or a celebrity; the word is seldom used with ordinary people.
*The sudden demise of the Prime Minister created a political vacuum.
The word can also be used to indicate the failure of an enterprise.
*The demise of the well-known company had many investors worried.
‘Death' is a much more general term, and unlike ‘demise', can be used with things and animals.
*Neelam became very upset when she heard about the death of her puppy.
*It was the death of all her plans.
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