1 [dih-meen]
verb (used with object)
to lower in dignity, honor, or standing; debase: He demeaned himself by accepting the bribe.

1595–1605; de- + mean2, modeled on debase

degrade, humble, humiliate, mortify.

dignify, honor. Unabridged


2 [dih-meen]
verb (used with object)
to conduct or behave (oneself) in a specified manner.
Archaic. demeanor.

1250–1300; Middle English deme(i)nen < Anglo-French, Old French demener, equivalent to de- de- + mener to lead, conduct < Latin mināre to drive, minārī to threaten Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
demean1 (dɪˈmiːn)
(tr) to lower (oneself) in dignity, status, or character; humble; debase
[C17: see de-, mean²; on the model of debase]

demean2 (dɪˈmiːn)
rare (tr) to behave or conduct (oneself) in a specified way
[C13: from Old French demener, from de- + mener to lead, drive, from Latin mināre to drive (animals), from minārī to use threats]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"lower in dignity," c.1600, perhaps from de- "down" + mean (adj.) and modeled on debase. Indistinguishable in some uses from obsolete demean (see demeanor) which influenced it and may be its true source.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Participants who had both status and power did not greatly demean their
These people demean the profession and vocation of research.
My intention was not to demean anyone but simply to help promote a community
  that could discuss topics in a mature fashion.
Indecent ones demean us and destroy those inmates who might otherwise reform.
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