demur

verb
de·mur | \di-ˈmər \
demurred; demurring

Definition of demur 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 archaic : delay, hesitate

2 law : to file a demurrer

3 : to take exception : object often used with to or at it would seem hazardous to demur to a proposition which is so widely accepted— Samuel Alexander

demur

noun

Definition of demur (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : hesitation (as in doing or accepting) usually based on doubt of the acceptability of something offered or proposed after some delay and demur, the door grudgingly turned on its hinges— Charles Dickens

2 : the act or an instance of objecting : protest rather than be brought into court he will pay without demur— G. B. Shaw

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Choose the Right Synonym for demur

Noun

qualm, scruple, compunction, demur mean a misgiving about what one is doing or going to do. qualm implies an uneasy fear that one is not following one's conscience or better judgment. no qualms about plagiarizing scruple implies doubt of the rightness of an act on grounds of principle. no scruples against buying stolen goods compunction implies a spontaneous feeling of responsibility or compassion for a potential victim. had compunctions about lying demur implies hesitation caused by objection to an outside suggestion or influence. accepted her decision without demur

Examples of demur in a Sentence

Verb

She suggested that he would win easily, but he demurred, saying he expected the election to be close. don't hesitate to demur to the idea if you have any qualms

Noun

we accepted his offer to pay for our dinners without demur
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When Tan bumped his offer to $82 a share in early February, Qualcomm continued to demur. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Mr. Tan goes to Washington: the undoing of Broadcom's $117-billion bid for Qualcomm," 15 Mar. 2018 When Om Kee Hata's mother saved money to buy him new shoes or clothes, the 17-year-old Burmese refugee demurred, telling his single mom to spend the money on his four younger siblings instead. Katie Bernard, kansascity, "Teen who drowned in Hillsdale Lake was Burmese refugee who was providing for family," 11 July 2018 Grimsdale demurred at first but soon changed his mind. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Pochettino Has Mastered the Process. A Prize, Any Prize, Still Eludes Him.," 21 Apr. 2018 Comey demurred, but Priebus insisted and brought him to the Oval Office, where Trump was stationed behind the Resolute Desk. Philip Rucker, Anchorage Daily News, "Comey’s memoir: Trump fixates on proving lewd dossier allegations false," 13 Apr. 2018 When Faso tried to turn the conversation towards President Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the host pushed back, and Faso demurred. Dan Merica, CNN, "GOP candidates don't want to talk about Stormy Daniels. Neither do Democrats.," 1 May 2018 That may explain why WHO recognized it first, while the APA demurred. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "World Health Organization says video game addiction is a disease. Why American psychiatrists don't," 19 June 2018 Others chime in with similar proposals, until eventually someone demurs, perhaps expressing empathy for the youths’ families or pointing out that police have killed suspects but escaped accountability. Jean Marbella, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County police officer's death ignites a racial firestorm," 25 May 2018 Bloom, meanwhile, is gamely transparent about her acting career—and demurs once or twice to her boyfriend. Vogue, "A Domesticated Philip Roth? Vogue Profiles the Late Writer with Claire Bloom in 1983," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demur.' 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 demur

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for demur

Verb

Middle English demuren, demeren to linger, from Anglo-French demurer, demoerer, from Latin demorari, from de- + morari to linger, from mora delay — more at mora

Noun

see demur entry 1

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Statistics for demur

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for demur

The first known use of demur was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for demur

demur

verb

English Language Learners Definition of demur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to disagree politely with another person's statement or suggestion

: to politely refuse to accept a request or suggestion

demur

noun

English Language Learners Definition of demur (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of disagreeing about something

de·mur | \di-ˈmər \
demurred; demurring

Legal Definition of demur 

: to interpose a demurrer demur to the declaration

Other Words from demur

demurrable adjective

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Comments on demur

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