de·​port·​ment | \ di-ˈpȯrt-mənt How to pronounce deportment (audio) , dē- \

Definition of deportment

: the manner in which one conducts (see conduct entry 1 sense 2) oneself : behavior were instructed in proper dress and deportment His features are strong and masculine …, all his motions graceful, and his deportment majestic.— Jonathan Swift

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Synonyms for deportment


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bearing, deportment, demeanor, mien, manner, carriage mean the outward manifestation of personality or attitude. bearing is the most general of these words but now usually implies characteristic posture. a woman of regal bearing deportment suggests actions or behavior as formed by breeding or training. your deportment was atrocious demeanor suggests one's attitude toward others as expressed in outward behavior. the haughty demeanor of the headwaiter mien is a literary term referring both to bearing and demeanor. a mien of supreme self-satisfaction manner implies characteristic or customary way of moving and gesturing and addressing others. the imperious manner of a man used to giving orders carriage applies chiefly to habitual posture in standing or walking. the kind of carriage learned at boarding school

Did You Know?

Deportment evolved from the verb deport, meaning "to behave especially in accord with a code," which in turn came to us through Middle French from Latin "deportare," meaning "to carry away." (You may also know "deport" as a verb meaning "to send out of the country"; that sense is newer and is derived directly from Latin "deportare.") Deportment can simply refer to one's demeanor, or it can refer to behavior formed by breeding or training and often conforming to conventional rules of propriety: "Are you not gratified that I am so rapidly gaining correct ideas of female propriety and sedate deportment?" wrote 17-year-old Emily Dickinson to her brother Austin.

Examples of deportment in a Sentence

The new students were instructed in proper dress and deportment. His stiff deportment matched his strict demeanor.
Recent Examples on the Web And there is nothing in Trump’s history or deportment that would discomfit those in more patriarchal settings. Jonathan Tilove, USA TODAY, "Why Latinos will play a critical role in determining the election winner in Texas," 2 Nov. 2020 Bob also was a dedicated history teacher, and with an eagle eye for deportment violations within the student body — even if they were spotted on the short walk home. Star Tribune, "From 'diapers to death,' crewcut Bob McDonald's legacy as basketball coach, dad lives on," 14 Oct. 2020 The manual outlines proper dress, grooming, behavior and deportment for a waitress, and the expectation that all of her customers will be men, who will expect quiet obedience. Susan Dunne,, "New Britain Museum of American Art keeps focus on women, art and social change," 5 Oct. 2020 In tweets, speeches and deportment, the president has made his personality a central issue in this campaign. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Despite obstacles, a successful Democratic National Convention," 20 Aug. 2020 Vogue was a culture of deportment, a culture of manners. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, "André Leon Talley Corrects the Record," 19 May 2020 Pregame analysis: Is anyone else concerned that Mitch Trubisky is now halfway through his third NFL season and the Bears are still spending time working on his game-day mannerisms and deportment? Dan Wiederer,, "Time to raise the bar for Mitch Trubisky: 3 keys for the Bears as they face the Eagles," 1 Nov. 2019 Gastronomy is about the totality of the experience, from the food and wine to the decor and the service — all the way to the dress and deportment of fellow diners. Alan Behr,, "When Paris does what it does best," 20 Aug. 2019 Zakiullah Storay, head of the health deportment in the province, said the facility was important, with 20 beds for people living in the rural area. Fox News, "Afghan official says insurgents burned down clinic," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deportment.' 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 deportment

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deportment

see deport

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Time Traveler for deportment

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The first known use of deportment was in 1601

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Cite this Entry

“Deportment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of deportment

formal : the way that a person behaves, stands, and moves especially in a formal situation

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