demi·​monde ˈde-mi-ˌmänd How to pronounce demimonde (audio)
: a class of women on the fringes of respectable society supported by wealthy lovers
also : their world
: the world of prostitution
: a distinct circle or world that is often an isolated part of a larger world
a night in the disco demimonde
especially : one having low reputation or prestige

Examples of demimonde in a Sentence

a documentary examining the demimonde of organized crime
Recent Examples on the Web The film’s attitude toward the demimonde of Hong Kong sugar daddies and the models who pretend to love them boils down to a cheeky and rather thoughtless shrug. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 13 July 2023 In the wake of the Dreyfus affair, which had exposed deep anxieties about who was authentically French, the French government had cracked down on immigrants, anarchists and the demimonde of Montmartre—Picasso’s people. Hamilton Cain, WSJ, 17 Mar. 2023 In that 1957 film, Tony Curtis portrays Sidney Falco, a cheerfully amoral press agent navigating the cutthroat demimonde of New York’s tabloid press by currying the favor of megalomaniacal columnist J.J. Hunsecker, played with slithery sang-froid by Burt Lancaster. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 Marcus Leatherdale, who made classical portraits of Manhattan’s demimonde in the 1980s — Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Sydney Biddle Barrows, otherwise known as the Mayflower Madam, all made their way to his Lower East Side studio — died on April 22 at his home in the state of Jharkhand, India. New York Times, 4 May 2022 His work captures this demimonde through his unique lens. Jim Dobson, Forbes, 23 Mar. 2023 The love of his life, Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler, has an internal sense of justice too keen to abide either the legally sanctioned cruelty of corporate law or the violence and malice of Saul’s work in Albuquerque’s criminal demimonde. Time, 30 Nov. 2022 Eventually, these stories expanded beyond the courtesans to encompass an entire hidden cat world, including kabuki actors, artists, comedians, and other demimonde. Zack Davisson, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Sep. 2020 The job lasted six months, but his fascination with the demimonde on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street persisted. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 16 Jan. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'demimonde.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French demi-monde, from demi- + monde world, from Latin mundus

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of demimonde was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near demimonde

Cite this Entry

“Demimonde.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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