de·​mean·​or | \ di-ˈmē-nər How to pronounce demeanor (audio) \

Essential Meaning of demeanor

: a person's appearance and behavior : the way someone seems to be to other people

Full Definition of demeanor

: behavior toward others : outward manner

Synonyms for demeanor


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for demeanor

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?

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.

Examples of demeanor in a Sentence

Staffs like the one at Veritas have come a long way from the days when sommeliers … intimidated diners with their overbearing demeanor and French accents. Food & Wine, September 2002 Sam himself, a quiet young man with a rather shy demeanor, was somewhat bemused by all this attention. — Lola Oberman, Bird Watcher's Digest, November/December 1994 the director of the opera company has a haughty demeanor that can be irritating
See More
Recent Examples on the Web This is the first of several moments in which Spike’s cynical, devil-may-care demeanor turns out to be a front for the romantic underneath. Scott Meslow, Vulture, 20 Nov. 2021 Schroeder instructed the jurors to treat the defendant like any other witness, assessing him on such factors as credibility, conduct, appearance, demeanor, and apparent intelligence. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, 19 Nov. 2021 His demeanor returning from a fracture and dislocation of his ankle to start the year? Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 7 Nov. 2021 In person, Braun has the same hesitant demeanor as Cousin Greg, but is less goofy and unsure of himself. Clark Collis,, 9 Nov. 2021 Born and raised in Queens, New York, with the no-nonsense demeanor to prove it, Lynch, 55, has spent his professional life tending to the logistical complexities of sea cargo., 11 Oct. 2021 Born and raised in Queens with the no-nonsense demeanor to prove it, Mr. Lynch, 55, has spent his professional life tending to the logistical complexities of sea cargo. New York Times, 10 Oct. 2021 But don’t confuse the folksy Mayberry demeanor with a lack of ambition or competitive drive. Doug Gollan, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2021 Cohen notes the difference between the demeanor of Petito and Laundrie. Steve Helling,, 24 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'demeanor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of demeanor

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for demeanor

see demean entry 2

Learn More About demeanor

Time Traveler for demeanor

Time Traveler

The first known use of demeanor was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About demeanor

Dictionary Entries Near demeanor




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for demeanor

Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Demeanor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for demeanor


de·​mean·​or | \ di-ˈmē-nər How to pronounce demeanor (audio) \

Kids Definition of demeanor

: outward manner or behavior a gentle demeanor


de·​mea·​nor | \ di-ˈmē-nər How to pronounce demeanor (audio) \

Legal Definition of demeanor

: outward manner : way of conducting oneself

Note: A jury may consider a witness's demeanor on the stand in determining the witness's credibility.

More from Merriam-Webster on demeanor

Nglish: Translation of demeanor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of demeanor for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!