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demure

[dih-myoo r] /dɪˈmyʊər/
adjective, demurer, demurest.
1.
characterized by shyness and modesty; reserved.
2.
affectedly or coyly decorous, sober, or sedate.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English dem(e)ur(e) well-mannered, grave < Anglo-French demuré, past participle of demurer to demur; perhaps influenced by Old French mur, mëur grave, mature (< Latin matūrus)
Related forms
demurely, adverb
demureness, noun
undemure, adjective
undemurely, adverb
undemureness, noun
Can be confused
demur, demure.
Synonyms
1. retiring. See modest.
Antonyms
1, 2. indecorous.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for demurest

demure

/dɪˈmjʊə/
adjective
1.
sedate; decorous; reserved
2.
affectedly modest or prim; coy
Derived Forms
demurely, adverb
demureness, noun
Word Origin
C14: perhaps from Old French demorer to delay, linger; perhaps influenced by meur ripe, mature
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 demurest

demure

adj.

late 14c. (early 14c. as a surname), from Old French meur "mature, fully grown, ripe," hence "discreet," from Latin maturus "mature" (see mature (v.)) [OED]. The de- in this word is of uncertain meaning. Or possibly from Anglo-French demuré (Old French demoré), past participle of demorer "stay," and influenced by meur [Barnhart]. Or from Old French de (bon) murs "of good manners," from murs (Modern French moeurs) [Klein].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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