demure was our Word of the Day on 06/17/2013. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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
Recent Examples of demure from the Web
There the film takes one of its several surprising turns when Anthony falls in love with a demure maid from Paraguay (Lumi Cavazos of Like Water for Chocolate).
Apparently, something demure, ladylike and delicate–with a hint of edge in sheer elements and an off-the-shoulder neckline.
Ms Kim’s modest if fetching outfit, her demure smiles, the touching deference to her (unrelated) nonagenarian travelling companion, Kim Yong Nam, the North’s titular head of state: all were seized upon as evidence of a delightful charm offensive.
When paired with a demure wrap top, the floral-print midi skirt has enough ’70s sophistication to make Diane von Furstenberg jealous, while still being appropriate for the work.
However, Kylie's new cover for the mag is a lot more demure, with her shot close-up, softly-filtered, and styled in a chunky red turtleneck sweater and matching lip.
The Italian house is a favorite of Jolie’s, who famously bared her right leg at the 2012 Academy Awards in one of its strapless velvet frocks, but this latest turn was more demure and inspired by Ancient Greece.
Throughout the fete, Thiebaud was characteristically demure.
Kate Middleton, wearing a modest white dress, was positioned as sweet and demure in hers.
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
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
arrogant, bumptious, conceited, egotistic (or egotistical), haughty, highfalutin (also hifalutin), high-and-mighty, high-handed, high-hat, hoity-toity, huffy, imperious, lordly, overweening, peremptory, pompous, presuming, presumptuous, pretentious, self-asserting, self-assertive, supercilious, superior, uppity;
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
What made you want to look up demure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).