demesne was our Word of the Day on 08/19/2014. Hear the podcast!
Examples of demesne in a sentence
the vast and frozen demesne of the northern tundra
the view that the issue is not in the demesne of the courts and is something that should be decided by the state legislature
Did You Know?
Why isn't "demesne" pronounced the way it's spelled? Our word actually began as "demayn" or "demeyn" in the 14th century, when it was borrowed from Anglo-French property law. At that time, the Anglo-French form was "demeine." Later, the Anglo-French spelling changed to "demesne," perhaps by association with another term from Anglo-French property law: mesne, meaning "intermediate." ("Mesne" has entered English as a legal term as well.) According to rules of French pronunciation, the "s" was silent and the vowel was long. English speakers eventually followed suit, adopting the "demesne" spelling. Our word domain (which overlaps with the meaning of "demesne" in some applications) also comes from Anglo-French demeine.
Origin and Etymology of demesne
Middle English, from Anglo-French demesne, demeine — more at domain
First Known Use: 14th century
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up demesne? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).