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adjective de·mure \di-ˈmyu̇r\

Simple Definition of demure

  • : quiet and polite

  • : not attracting or demanding a lot of attention : not showy or flashy

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of demure

  1. 1 :  reserved, modest

  2. 2 :  affectedly modest, reserved, or serious :  coy

demurely adverb
demureness noun

Examples of demure in a sentence

  1. So even if you think you've moved past your reputation as The Rebel, two minutes after getting together with your more demure sister, you're likely to fall back into that hell-raiser role. —Jessica Mehalic, Cosmopolitan, August 2001

  2. It looked as though the dress and capelet were one piece. It created a demure look, but if you take off the capelet, it's a seductive strapless dress. —Elizabeth Hayt, Vogue, December 1999

  3. I made a lot of friends at Les Tourelles with whom I have kept in touch over the years. There was one darling little girl, much younger than the rest of us, who was sweet, demure, and quiet, with beautiful long hair like Alice in Wonderland. —Anna Russell, I'm Not Making This Up, You Know, 1985

  4. She was wearing a demure gray suit.

  5. the demure charm of the cottage

Did You Know?

Demure has essentially remained unchanged in meaning since at least the 14th century. Its first recorded use in our language dates from the Middle English period (roughly the 12th to 15th centuries), a time when the native tongue of England was borrowing many new words from the French spoken by the Normans who gained control of the country after the Battle of Hastings. Demure might have been part of the French cultural exchange; etymologists think it may have derived from the Anglo-French verb demorer or demourer, meaning "to linger." During Shakespeare's time, demure was briefly used in English as a verb meaning "to look demurely," but only the older adjective form has survived to the present day.

Origin of demure

Middle English

First Known Use: 14th century

DEMURE Defined for Kids


adjective de·mure \di-ˈmyu̇r\

Definition of demure for Students

  1. 1 :  proper and reserved in behavior and speech

  2. 2 :  pretending to be proper and reserved :  coy

demurely adverb

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up demure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to manage or play awkwardly

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