demure

[ dih-myoor ]
/ dɪˈmyʊər /

adjective, de·mur·er, de·mur·est.

characterized by shyness and modesty; reserved.
affectedly or coyly decorous, sober, or sedate.

Nearby words

  1. dempster,
  2. demucosation,
  3. demulcent,
  4. demulsify,
  5. demur,
  6. demurrage,
  7. demurral,
  8. demurrer,
  9. demuth,
  10. demuth, charles

Origin of demure

1350–1400; Middle English dem(e)ur(e) well-mannered, grave < Anglo-French demuré, past participle of demurer to demur; perhaps influenced by Old French mur, mëur grave, mature (< Latin matūrus)

Related forms
Can be confuseddemur demure

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for demure


British Dictionary definitions for demure

demure

/ (dɪˈmjʊə) /

adjective

sedate; decorous; reserved
affectedly modest or prim; coy
Derived Formsdemurely, adverbdemureness, noun

Word Origin for demure

C14: perhaps from Old French demorer to delay, linger; perhaps influenced by meur ripe, mature

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 demure

demure

adj.

late 14c. (early 14c. as a surname), from Old French meur "mature, fully grown, ripe," hence "discreet," from Latin maturus "mature" (see mature (v.)) [OED]. The de- in this word is of uncertain meaning. Or possibly from Anglo-French demuré (Old French demoré), past participle of demorer "stay," and influenced by meur [Barnhart]. Or from Old French de (bon) murs "of good manners," from murs (Modern French moeurs) [Klein].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper