: behavior toward others : outward manner
Did You Know?
There's a long trail from Latin "minari" (which means "to threaten" and has been connected to the threatening cries of cattle drivers) to English "demeanor." Along the way, we first encounter Latin "minare"; it means "to drive" and was once used specifically of driving animals for herding. From there, the path leads us to Anglo-French, where we pass by "mener" ("to lead") and then "demener" ("to conduct"). Next comes Middle English "demenen" and then Modern English "demean," both meaning "to conduct (oneself) in a certain manner." And, finally, we take one last step, and add the suffix "-or" to "demean" to get "demeanor."
Pick the right word: For a discussion of "demeanor" and its synonyms, see our entry for bearing.
The professor's friendly and laid-back demeanor made him a favorite among the students. "Through it all, Bradford never seemed rattled, never lost composure. And more importantly, his demeanor did not suggest that of a rookie in his first NFL game right down to the final pass." -- From an article by Norm Sanders in Illinois's Belleville News-Democrat, September 13, 2010
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