• synonyms


  1. conduct; behavior; deportment.
  2. facial appearance; mien.
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Also especially British, de·mean·our.

Origin of demeanor

First recorded in 1425–75, demeanor is from the late Middle English word demenure. See demean2, -or1

Synonyms for demeanor

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for demeanour

Historical Examples of demeanour

  • The latter was cruelly polite and attentive in his demeanour.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327


  • And just from this came the subdued character of his demeanour!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Nothing in their demeanour betrayed their thoughts or intentions.

  • For a moment or so Pierre had been astonished by the demeanour of La Grivotte.

  • There was a certain skill in his attitude and demeanour, as if he knew exactly what he was about.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

British Dictionary definitions for demeanour


US demeanor

  1. the way a person behaves towards others; conduct
  2. bearing, appearance, or mien
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Word Origin for demeanour

C15: see demean ²
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

Word Origin and History for demeanour

chiefly British English spelling of demeanor; for suffix, see -or.

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late 15c., from obsolete Middle English demean "handle, manage, conduct," later "behave in a certain way" (early 14c.), from Old French demener (11c.) "to guide, conduct; to live, dwell," from de- "completely" (see de-) + mener "to lead, direct," from Latin minare "to threaten," in Late Latin "to drive (a herd of animals);" see menace. Sense in English evolved from notion of "conduct, manage" (oneself). Spelling changed by influence of nouns in -or, -our.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper