demean

verb (1)
de·​mean | \ di-ˈmēn How to pronounce demean (audio) \
demeaned; demeaning

Definition of demean

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to lower in character, status, or reputation careful not to demean his opponent demeaning the seriousness of the problem

demean

verb (2)
demeaned; demeaning

Definition of demean (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to conduct or behave (oneself) usually in a proper manner … he might have been observed to demean himself as a person with nothing to do …— Henry James †1916

First Known Use of demean

Verb (1)

1601, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for demean

Verb (1)

de- + mean entry 1

Verb (2)

Middle English demenen, from Anglo-French demener to conduct, from de- + mener to lead, from Latin minare to drive, from minari to threaten — more at mount

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The first known use of demean was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Demean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/demean. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for demean

demean

verb
de·​mean | \ di-ˈmēn How to pronounce demean (audio) \
demeaned; demeaning

Kids Definition of demean

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: behave sense 2 He demeaned himself like a gentleman.

demean

verb
demeaned; demeaning

Kids Definition of demean (Entry 2 of 2)

: to lower in character or dignity She feels that such work demeans her.

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