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demean1

[dih-meen] /dɪˈmin/
verb (used with object)
1.
to lower in dignity, honor, or standing; debase:
He demeaned himself by accepting the bribe.
Origin
1595-1605
1595-1605; de- + mean2, modeled on debase
Synonyms
degrade, humble, humiliate, mortify.
Antonyms
dignify, honor.

demean2

[dih-meen] /dɪˈmin/
verb (used with object)
1.
to conduct or behave (oneself) in a specified manner.
noun
2.
Archaic. demeanor.
Origin
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
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for demeans

demean1

/dɪˈmiːn/
verb
1.
(transitive) to lower (oneself) in dignity, status, or character; humble; debase
Word Origin
C17: see de-, mean²; on the model of debase

demean2

/dɪˈmiːn/
verb
1.
(transitive) (rare) to behave or conduct (oneself) in a specified way
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for demeans

demean

v.

"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. Related: Demeaned; demeaning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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