demure

[ dih-myoor ]
/ dɪˈmyʊər /

adjective, de·mur·er, de·mur·est.

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

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