Demon vs daemon

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The words demon and daemon are spelled in a similar fashion and have similar meanings with very specific differences. We will look at the definitions of the terms demon and daemon, the difference between the two, the origin of their meanings and some examples of their use in sentences.

A demon is an evil spirit, a devil, an inhabitant of hell. Demons are often depicted with horns, a pointed tail, cloves hood and grotesques faces. Demon may also be used figuratively to describe an evil person, an intractable obsession or something harmful. Interestingly, demon is sometimes used to describe mischievousness or great skill. In New Zealand and Australia, the term demon may be used informally to a police officer. The word demon is derived from the Latin word daemonium which means lesser spirit or evil spirit.

The idea of the daemon comes from the beliefs of the Ancient Greeks. To them, a daemon was a spiritual being falling somewhere between a god and a human, or the ghost of a fallen hero. Daemons are good or helpful spirits. The idea of the daemon has survived today as a sort of guardian angel or an inner driving force. Remember, a demon is an evil spirit, a daemon is a good spirit. The word daemon is derived from the Greek term daimōn. A more recent meaning of the word daemon is a computer process that runs in the background. An alternate spelling for daemon is daimon.


An exorcist has warned of a demon that seeks to attack families and has been encountered in numerous exorcisms carried out by the Catholic Church. (The Daily Mail)

The daemon is the physical manifestation of the human soul in the form of an animal, as described by Philip Pullman’s in His Dark Materials trilogy. (The Guardian)