demure was our Word of the Day on 06/17/2013. Hear the podcast!
Examples of demure in a sentence
So even if you think you've moved past your reputation as The Rebel, two minutes after getting together with your more demure sister, you're likely to fall back into that hell-raiser role. —Jessica Mehalic, Cosmopolitan, August 2001
It looked as though the dress and capelet were one piece. It created a demure look, but if you take off the capelet, it's a seductive strapless dress. —Elizabeth Hayt, Vogue, December 1999
I made a lot of friends at Les Tourelles with whom I have kept in touch over the years. There was one darling little girl, much younger than the rest of us, who was sweet, demure, and quiet, with beautiful long hair like Alice in Wonderland. —Anna Russell, I'm Not Making This Up, You Know, 1985
She was wearing a demure gray suit.
the demure charm of the cottage
Did You Know?
Demure has essentially remained unchanged in meaning since at least the 14th century. Its first recorded use in our language dates from the Middle English period (roughly the 12th to 15th centuries), a time when the native tongue of England was borrowing many new words from the French spoken by the Normans who gained control of the country after the Battle of Hastings. Demure might have been part of the French cultural exchange; etymologists think it may have derived from the Anglo-French verb demorer or demourer, meaning "to linger." During Shakespeare's time, demure was briefly used in English as a verb meaning "to look demurely," but only the older adjective form has survived to the present day.
Origin and Etymology of demure
First Known Use: 14th century
DEMURE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of demure for English Language Learners
: quiet and polite
: not attracting or demanding a lot of attention : not showy or flashy
DEMURE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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