demur

verb
de·​mur | \ di-ˈmər How to pronounce demur (audio) \
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 May demurred, Trump ended up postponing the trip. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s confusion about Bush’s slogan illustrates his narrow view of the presidency," 9 July 2018 Even Chris Christie demurred after meeting with the president on Friday. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “It’s All Coming Home to Roost”," 16 Dec. 2018 As for whether other officials should be forced to take a polygraph, Pence demurred, saying that's up to the president. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Pence slams 'disappointing' Obama speech, says he'd take lie detector to prove he didn't write NYT Op-Ed," 9 Sep. 2018 Mars: Bridenstine politely demurred when he was asked whether NASA could meet a proposal drafted by some lawmakers — and viewed with much skepticism by many experts — to launch astronauts to Mars by 2033. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "Once climate change skeptic, new NASA chief Bridenstine wants Earth science to remain key agency mission," 6 June 2018 In the early ’80s, consumers lobbied the FDA to require talc-containing products to carry an asbestos warning level, but the agency demurred. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Johnson & Johnson accused of hiding the asbestos in its baby powder for decades," 14 Dec. 2018 Pressed again and again to admit to Twitter showing some type of bias, either systemic or personal, Dorsey consistently demurred. Aja Romano, Vox, "How hysteria over Twitter shadow-banning led to a bizarre congressional hearing," 6 Sep. 2018 Yet when aboriginal leaders suggested that any amendment to the constitution should empower, rather than simply nod at aboriginals, the government demurred. The Economist, "Australia’s states offer to make treaties with aboriginals," 5 July 2018 More than a dozen U.S. bishops have echoed the call, though others, including a top Francis appointee, Cardinal Blase Cupich, have demurred. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "Sanctions, sex abuse and silence: A primer on the pope saga," 9 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When someone asks Mihalko if Chevy thinks of the new Blazer as the Camaro of crossovers, the humble engineer demurs. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "2019 Chevy Blazer Test Drive: What Happened When GM Tried To Make the Crossover Cool," 4 Feb. 2019

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 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

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Statistics for demur

Last Updated

22 Mar 2019

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)

formal
: 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)

chiefly British, formal : an act of disagreeing about something
de·​mur | \ di-ˈmər How to pronounce demur (audio) \
demurred; demurring

Legal Definition of demur

: to interpose a demurrer demur to the declaration

Other Words from demur

demurrable adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on demur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with demur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for demur

Spanish Central: Translation of demur

Nglish: Translation of demur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of demur for Arabic Speakers

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