Word Origin & History
late 15c., from obsolete M.E. demean "behave in a certain way" (early 14c.), from O.Fr. demener, from de- "completely" + mener "to lead, direct," from L. minare "to threaten," in L.L. "to drive (a herd of animals)." Sense in English evolved from notion of "conduct, manage" (oneself).