noun de·mean·or \di-ˈmē-nər\

Definition of demeanor

  1. :  behavior toward others :  outward manner

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Examples of demeanor in a sentence

  1. Staffs like the one at Veritas have come a long way from the days when sommeliers … intimidated diners with their overbearing demeanor and French accents. —Food & Wine, September 2002

  2. Sam himself, a quiet young man with a rather shy demeanor, was somewhat bemused by all this attention. —Lola Oberman, Bird Watcher's Digest, November/December 1994

  3. the director of the opera company has a haughty demeanor that can be irritating

Did You Know?

There's a long trail from Latin minari (which means "to threaten" and has been connected to the threatening cries of cattle drivers) to English demeanor. Along the way, we first encounter Latin minare; it means "to drive" and was once used specifically of driving animals for herding. From there, the path leads us to Anglo-French, where we pass by mener (to lead) and then demener (to conduct). Next comes Middle English demenen and then Modern English demean, both meaning "to conduct (oneself) in a certain manner." And, finally, we take one last step, and add the suffix -or to demean to get demeanor.

Origin and Etymology of demeanor

1demean —see 1demean

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of demeanor

bearing, deportment, demeanor, mien, manner, carriage mean the outward manifestation of personality or attitude. bearing is the most general of these words but now usually implies characteristic posture a woman of regal bearing. deportment suggests actions or behavior as formed by breeding or training your deportment was atrocious. demeanor suggests one's attitude toward others as expressed in outward behavior the haughty demeanor of the headwaiter. mien is a literary term referring both to bearing and demeanor a mien of supreme self-satisfaction. manner implies characteristic or customary way of moving and gesturing and addressing others the imperious manner of a man used to giving orders. carriage applies chiefly to habitual posture in standing or walking the kind of carriage learned at boarding school.

DEMEANOR Defined for English Language Learners


noun de·mean·or \di-ˈmē-nər\

Definition of demeanor for English Language Learners

  • : a person's appearance and behavior : the way someone seems to be to other people

DEMEANOR Defined for Kids


noun de·mean·or \di-ˈmē-nər\

Definition of demeanor for Students

  1. :  outward manner or behavior a gentle demeanor

Law Dictionary


noun de·mea·nor \di-ˈmē-nər\

Legal Definition of demeanor

  1. :  outward manner :  way of conducting oneself

Additional Notes on demeanor

A jury may consider a witness's demeanor on the stand in determining the witness's credibility.

Seen and Heard

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


a rounded knoll or a ridge of ice

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