- to lower in dignity, honor, or standing; debase: He demeaned himself by accepting the bribe.
Origin of demean1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for demean on Thesaurus.com
degrade, humble, humiliate, mortify.
- to conduct or behave (oneself) in a specified manner.
- Archaic. demeanor.
Origin of demean2
1250–1300; Middle English deme(i)nen < Anglo-French, Old French demener, equivalent to de- de- + mener to lead, conduct < Latin mināre to drive, minārī to threaten
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for demean
Modern campaigns rarely elevate any subject and have a terrible tendency to demean all who participate.Secret Campaign for Chairman of the Federal Reserve
September 12, 2013
Hand it off to a hen-pecked husband or a put-upon assistant and it can demean or belittle.The Language of Margaret Thatcher’s Handbags
April 8, 2013
The Taliban have said the comments comparing war to a game 'demean' Harry.Prince Harry: "Take a Life To Save A Life", Confirms He Has Killed Insurgents
January 22, 2013
Canadians are generally mistrustful of rules that subordinate or demean women.The Canadian Supreme Court's Punt on the Niqab
December 22, 2012
“He is trying to shock whoever finds the body,” said Shepard, who said that Hughes was trying also to demean his victims.LA’s Grisly Woman Killer
October 27, 2011
Did she not break into lamentation and woe that a brother should so demean himself?The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
One who has reached my years, and who has a name for wisdom, ought not to demean himself.Apology
Of course he was not going to demean himself by talking to "that atheist's daughter."We Two
She had been well tutored on every point, what to say and how to demean herself.The Golden Dog
For all I've had to demean myself to wait on sich as you, I'm a Christian!A Sheaf of Corn
Mary E. Mann
- (tr) to lower (oneself) in dignity, status, or character; humble; debase
C17: see de-, mean ²; on the model of debase
- (tr) rare to behave or conduct (oneself) in a specified way
C13: from Old French demener, from de- + mener to lead, drive, from Latin mināre to drive (animals), from minārī to use threats
Word Origin and History for demean
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper