adjective de·mure \ di-ˈmyu̇r \
|Updated on: 14 Jul 2018
2 : affectedly modest, reserved, or serious : coy





demure was our Word of the Day on 06/17/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of demure in a Sentence

  1. 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 MehalicCosmopolitanAugust 2001
  2. 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 HaytVogueDecember 1999
  3. 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 RussellI'm Not Making This Up, You Know1985
  4. She was wearing a demure gray suit.

  5. the demure charm of the cottage

Recent Examples of demure from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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

Middle English

DEMURE Defined for English Language Learners


  • : quiet and polite

  • : not attracting or demanding a lot of attention : not showy or flashy

DEMURE Defined for Kids


adjective de·mure \ di-ˈmyu̇r \
1 : proper and reserved in behavior and speech
2 : pretending to be proper and reserved : coy



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a simultaneous discharge of guns

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