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
Pick strategic areas of your body to highlight: Rossum's Zuhair Murad dress shows off her back and hints of her legs, but is demure and full-coverage in all key areas.
Getty Images Meghan, on the other hand, opted for a look that managed to perfectly straddle the line between demure and daring.
She dresses and behaves like a demure preppy debutante because playing the brat is undignified.
But this time Moss ditched the demure nude slip and just went for a bright turquoise bikini underneath.
Her seemingly demure husband wore a fanny-pack, cargo shorts, and a Hawaiian shirt.
The figure skating announcer is making Liberace look demure these days and continuing to infuriate the kinds of Twitter users who use Pepe the Frog as their avatar.
Even Oana Botez’s glittery costumes are relatively demure.
The Hotel Vegas looks the part of a derelict roadhouse, and Charles' demure but hard-bitten cosmic county fit right in with the scene.
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.
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
: 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).