Word of the Day

Sunday, April 07, 2013

demimonde

\DEM-ee-mond; Fr. duh-mee-MAWND\ , noun;
1.
a group characterized by lack of success or status: the literary demimonde.
2.
(especially during the last half of the 19th century) a class of women who have lost their standing in respectable society because of indiscreet behavior or sexual promiscuity.
3.
a demimondaine.
4.
prostitutes or courtesans in general.
5.
a group whose activities are ethically or legally questionable: a demimonde of investigative journalists writing for the sensationalist tabloids.
Quotes:
It had not always been that way; it had begun as something more like a network of friends, or the part of the underground that lived in the demimonde.
-- Kim Stanley Robinson, Blue Mars, 2003
Although it had not been important upon her ascension to the apex of the demimonde, once there, impending poverty created a stench of failure.
-- Linda Berdoll, Darcy and Elizabeth, 2006
Origin:
Demimode comes to English from the French demi- + monde literally meaning "half world." The phrase was coined and popularized by Alexander Dumas, fils.
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