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[uhn-duh-mon-struh-tiv] /ˌʌn dəˈmɒn strə tɪv/
not given to open exhibition or expression of emotion, especially of affection.
Origin of undemonstrative
First recorded in 1840-50; un-1 + demonstrative
Related forms
undemonstratively, adverb
undemonstrativeness, noun
reserved, shy; unresponsive, impassive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for undemonstrative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She knew not fear; her quiet, undemonstrative courage was lofty and invincible.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • The worst of these inarticulate and undemonstrative people is that they hurt you so.

    The Right Stuff Ian Hay
  • And Jim, in his undemonstrative way, returned Mr. Dennis' affection.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • Even the undemonstrative Wanaha exclaimed at the metamorphosis.

    The Watchers of the Plains

    Ridgewell Cullum
  • He was an austere man, very fine-looking, but silent and undemonstrative.

    Hubert's Wife

    Minnie Mary Lee
  • "I only wanted to say that he is undemonstrative," explained the girl, flaming red.

    A Man of Two Countries Alice Harriman
  • She knew that she had been undemonstrative in her manner, and that such was her nature.

    An Old Man's Love

    Anthony Trollope
  • She had suddenly become hard, undemonstrative, and almost unkind.

    Ralph the Heir

    Anthony Trollope
  • Barbara and Will were there, and, in their undemonstrative way, very happy.

    The Morning Glory Club George A. Kyle
British Dictionary definitions for undemonstrative


tending not to show the feelings; of a reserved nature
Derived Forms
undemonstratively, adverb
undemonstrativeness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for undemonstrative

1826, "not characterized by outward expression of feelings," from un- (1) "not" + demonstrative.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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