1 : reserved, modest
2 : affectedly modest, reserved, or serious : coy
When we first met Kelly, she was quiet and demure, so it surprises us now to see that she can be vocal and forward.
"Amazingly, though, these corporate creatures have suddenly turned demure, insisting that they don’t want to draw any attention to themselves." - From an editorial by Jim Hightower in the Illinois Times, May 16, 2013
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.
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