1 of 2


de·​mur di-ˈmər How to pronounce demur (audio)
demurred; demurring

intransitive verb

: to take exception : object
often used with to or at
it would seem hazardous to demur to a proposition which is so widely acceptedSamuel Alexander
law : to file a demurrer
archaic : delay, hesitate


2 of 2


: the act or an instance of objecting : protest
rather than be brought into court he will pay without demurG. B. Shaw
: 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 hingesCharles Dickens
Choose the Right Synonym for demur

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Asked about the streaming event about those controversies, Bloys demurred. Tom Tapp, Deadline, 25 June 2024 Washington had initially demurred; its defense priority in the region was securing Japan. Carter Malkasian, Foreign Affairs, 20 June 2023 Asked after the workout if there was progress with the Stafford situation, McVay demurred. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2024 Asked whether this year’s meeting carried any extra meeting, coming against his former club, Bochy demurred. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 7 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for demur 

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

Word History


Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near demur

Cite this Entry

“Demur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
de·​mur di-ˈmər How to pronounce demur (audio)
demurred; demurring


2 of 2 noun
: the act of objecting : protest
accepted without demur

Legal Definition


intransitive verb
de·​mur di-ˈmər How to pronounce demur (audio)
demurred; demurring
: to interpose a demurrer
demur to the declaration
demurrable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on demur

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