de·mean·or | \di-ˈmē-nər \

Definition of demeanor 

: behavior toward others : outward manner

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

Examples of demeanor in a Sentence

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 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 the director of the opera company has a haughty demeanor that can be irritating
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Recent Examples on the Web

He was known among Disney fans for his smile and friendly demeanor. Dewayne Bevil,, "Richard Gerth, greeter at Disney's Grand Floridian, has died," 7 June 2018 However, when Steele argued that Cosby’s bail should be revoked, the comedian’s demeanor changed. Ray Boyd,, "Bill Cosby found guilty in sexual assault trial, Rep. Brady introduces bill to prevent family's deportation | Morning Newsletter," 27 Apr. 2018 Well-liked internally and known for his calm demeanor and deliberate management style, Portnow has helped significantly boost the organization’s profile and revenue. Gail Mitchell, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why Recording Academy Trustees and Staff Are Standing by Neil Portnow," 13 Feb. 2018 Her smile, her happy demeanor, reflected all was well. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Queen Creek Casteel High sports teams mourn death of former principal Sandy Lundberg," 26 June 2018 His cross-eyes and panting-dog demeanor belie a natural genius, which is the player's talent at jumping on enemies and spinning into them like a dervish to vanquish them. Harold Goldberg,, "Classic games, lovingly reimagined in 'Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy'," 13 July 2018 Their descriptions were consistent in terms of appearance and demeanor of the assailant and the vehicle used in the assaults — a white pickup similar to one owned by Losano, according to the Suffolk district attorney’s office. Danny Mcdonald,, "Swampscott man charged with raping five women at gunpoint," 12 July 2018 The clones may share the same face, but the range of personalities, affectations, and demeanors Maslany brought to them were what earned the show its niche army of fans — even if the Television Academy didn't see it. Kathryn Lindsay,, "Sandra Oh Just Made History For Killing Eve, But The Emmys Forgot One Thing," 12 July 2018 Trubisky has touted the energized team's new culture and a positive vibe emanating from Nagy, 40, whose persona should better suit this young roster than old school predecessor John Fox's demeanor did. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Bears training camp questions: Can Mitchell Trubisky take off under rookie coach Matt Nagy?," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demeanor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of demeanor

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for demeanor

demean entry 1 — see demean entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near demeanor






de medietate linguae


Statistics for demeanor

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demeanor

The first known use of demeanor was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for demeanor



English Language Learners Definition of demeanor

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


de·mean·or | \di-ˈmē-nər \

Kids Definition of demeanor

: outward manner or behavior a gentle demeanor


de·mea·nor | \di-ˈmē-nər \

Legal Definition of demeanor 

: outward manner : way of conducting oneself

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

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Comments on demeanor

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


to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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