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or (especially British) demeanour

[dih-mee-ner] /dɪˈmi nər/
conduct; behavior; deportment.
facial appearance; mien.
Origin of demeanor
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English demenure. See demean2, -or1
manner, comportment, bearing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for demeanour
Historical Examples
  • There was nothing of the pining lover, nor of the lover at all, in his demeanour.

    Adventure Jack London
  • And just from this came the subdued character of his demeanour!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • He spoke in the cold and deliberate manner which characterized his demeanour whenever he was independent of his wife.

    Trevethlan (Vol 3 of 3) William Davy Watson
  • There was a certain skill in his attitude and demeanour, as if he knew exactly what he was about.

    Roden's Corner Henry Seton Merriman
  • Yet I was not wholly lost to myself: I vigilantly marked his demeanour.

    Wieland; or The Transformation Charles Brockden Brown
  • Wrayson glanced towards Heneage and was amazed at his demeanour.

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • There are hundreds who are grave and serious in their demeanour, whose hearts are full of solid peace.

    Practical Religion John Charles Ryle
  • He confessed, however, at last that Antoine's demeanour was becoming intolerable.

  • There is a restlessness in his demeanour and a strange wistful look in his eye as if seeking for something.

    My Discovery of England Stephen Leacock
  • The sneer passed out of his face, the arrogance out of his demeanour.

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for demeanour


the way a person behaves towards others; conduct
bearing, appearance, or mien
Word Origin
C15: see demean²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for demeanour

chiefly British English spelling of demeanor; for suffix, see -or.



late 15c., from obsolete Middle English demean "handle, manage, conduct," later "behave in a certain way" (early 14c.), from Old French demener (11c.) "to guide, conduct; to live, dwell," from de- "completely" (see de-) + mener "to lead, direct," from Latin minare "to threaten," in Late Latin "to drive (a herd of animals);" see menace. Sense in English evolved from notion of "conduct, manage" (oneself). Spelling changed by influence of nouns in -or, -our.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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