Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Chiefly British Variant of demon.
  • n. Variant of daimon.
  • n. Computer Science A program or process that sits idly in the background until it is invoked to perform its task.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A demon.
  • n. A lesser deity between men and gods.
  • n. One's inner spirit or daimon.
  • n. A process (a running program) that does not have a controlling terminal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • See demon, demonic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • etc. See demon, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an evil supernatural being
  • n. a person who is part mortal and part god

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek δαίμων (daimon, "a god, goddess, divine power, genius, guardian spirit"), from δαίω (daio, "to divide, to distribute destinies, to allot"). (Wiktionary)
From Maxwell's demon; a derivation from "disk and execution monitor" is generally considered a backronym. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "The daemon shall not choose us, _but we shall choose our daemon_." [

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 23, September, 1859

  • Personally, I am convinced that my daemon is a raccoon, too curious for her own good and always into stuff.

    Androne here

  • A brief synopsis: A brilliant game designer has recently passed away and upon his death, an unknown daemon is loosed upon an unsuspecting world.

    REVIEW: Daemon by Daniel Suarez

  • My daemon is a speed-reader that leaps before looking.

    Androne here

  • By the way, they told me that my daemon is modest ....

    Androne here

  • But just as the horror of a daemonless boy would be nothing without the buildup of what a daemon is in the first place (you've read HDM, right?), the constant beating-you-over-the-head with the formula is necessary to appreciate what happens when the formula, bit by bit, begins to break down.

    Contest At Readable Feast

  • Just as the appearance of the daemonless boy near the end of The Golden Compass wouldn't carry nearly so much horror if we hadn't been so entrenched in daemon-hood up until that point, I think that the formulaic content of the first six Snicket books - a major point of criticism - is absolutely essential to the disorienting effect of watching the formula, bit by bit, dissolve in later books.

    A Series of Unfortunate Events

  • A syslog daemon is a UNIX application that handles requests across the network.

    LogToSyslog

  • Friday, June 06, 2008 11: 57 PM by Kirk hi Scott - is there any support for using Silverlight 2 for a web service or "daemon" - like service (i.e. Windows service, but on other platforms)? as more things get stuffed into Silverlight, it seems to makes it a better.

    ScottGu's Blog

  • OK, very quickly, a daemon is your animal companion but like a soul in animal form.

    Pullman's Progress

Comments

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  • It's pronounce demon. I say dameon, though. It's considered your soul, or your consciousness. What separates man from animal. At least, that's the definition by His Dark Materials standard.

    February 4, 2009

  • Conversation I had working IT:

    Guy: I got this problem, I keep getting these emails.
    Me: Emails?
    Guy: Yeah, and I can't understand a word of them, they're all letters and numbers all jumbled up, can't make head nor tail of them.
    Me: So where are you getting these emails from?
    Guy: I don't know, they're all from a guy named Damon. I don't know who he is, I thought maybe he worked with you guys.
    Me: Damon?
    Guy: Yeah, Mailer Daemon. You know him?
    Me: Ohhhhh! That's not Damon, that's DEMON! That's way above my level, that means your computer's possessed. I'm just IT, you need an exorcist.



    I actually like to pronounce it as the Greek, 'daimon' with ai as in Thailand. This is actually the intermediate vowel between ay and ee, so it sounds all right for people who have been used to pronouncing it either way. This should be the general rule for all uses of the ae ligature (and oe is oi as in voice). If you have to choose something else, however, I'd take demon.

    August 19, 2008

  • The words daemon, dæmon, are Latinized spellings of the Greek δαίμων (daimon), used purposely today to distinguish the daemons of Ancient Greek religion, good or malevolent "supernatural beings between mortals and gods, such as inferior divinities and ghosts of dead heroes" (see Plato's Symposium), from the Judeo-Christian usage demon, a malignant spirit that can seduce, afflict, or possess humans.
    _Wikipedia

    February 6, 2008

  • Is it pronounced demon or damon? I always mumble the first syllable when I have to say it aloud.

    May 10, 2007