de·​mean·​or | \ di-ˈmē-nər How to pronounce demeanor (audio) \

Definition of demeanor

: behavior toward others : outward manner

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Synonyms for demeanor


actions, address, bearing, behavior, comportment, conduct, deportment, geste (also gest) [archaic]

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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

Avenatti has emerged as the unlikely voice of the underdog while out-classing a bunch of establishment schlubs with his impeccable style and cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor. Rachel Dodes, Vanities, "Michael Avenatti Is “Very Flattered” That You Think He’s a Style Icon," 17 May 2018 What stood out in Colon, who most recently had been working in behavioral and mental health services at PACES in Wyandotte County, was his earnest demeanor, ideas and life experiences. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "Poverty, injury and gun to his head led former K-State player Luis Colon to true calling," 16 June 2018 The second reason is his...fiery...demeanor on the course. Daniel Rapaport,, "FORE Questions: No Live Coverage of the RBC Heritage, Is Jon Rahm Underrated?," 16 Apr. 2018 There are many tales of Andre’s epic drinking, his flatulence, his kind demeanor. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "100 beers and a lot of heart: 'Andre the Giant' stands tall in HBO documentary," 10 Apr. 2018 But Brach’s quiet demeanor shouldn’t be confused with his not being competitive. Eduardo A. Encina,, "For Orioles' Brad Brach and wife Jenae, time in Baltimore has been a 'dream come true'," 22 Mar. 2018 Oser’s personable demeanor and analytic bent helped him gain support across racial lines, as the board ushered in new policies and programs. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "George Oser, who helped lead HISD integration efforts in 1970s, dies at 81," 16 Mar. 2018 That is fair game for debate, but the Politico piece raised the broader question of the president's demeanor by citing his Sept. 11 visit to Shanksville, Pa., where a plane hijacked by terrorists was forced down 17 years ago. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Media batter Trump with storm criticism as Hurricane Florence looms," 13 Sep. 2018 Wagner holds himself out as the polar opposite of Wolf, who earned multiple degrees from elite schools and who rarely departs from his professorial demeanor., "From trashman to governor? GOP hopeful Scott Wagner wants to be Pa. 'cleanup guy'," 6 May 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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Statistics for demeanor

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce demeanor (audio) \

Kids Definition of demeanor

: outward manner or behavior a gentle demeanor


de·​mea·​nor | \ di-ˈmē-nər How to pronounce demeanor (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on demeanor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with demeanor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for demeanor

Spanish Central: Translation of demeanor

Nglish: Translation of demeanor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of demeanor for Arabic Speakers

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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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