demean "lower in dignity," c.1600, perhaps from DE- (Cf. de-) "down" + MEAN (Cf. mean) (adj.) and modeled on DEBASE (Cf. debase). Indistinguishable in some uses from obsolete demean (see DEMEANOR (Cf. demeanor)) which influenced it and may be its true source. Related: Demeaned; demeaning.

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  • Demean — De*mean , n. [OF. demene. See {Demean}, v. t.] 1. Management; treatment. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Vile demean and usage bad. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. Behavior; conduct; bearing; demeanor. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] With grave demean and solemn vanity.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Demean — De*mean , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Demeaned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Demeaning}.] [OF. demener to conduct, guide, manage, F. se d[ e]mener to struggle; pref. d[ e] (L. de) + mener to lead, drive, carry on, conduct, fr. L. minare to drive animals by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • demean — deport, comport, *behave, conduct, acquit, quit Analogous words: *carry, bear (as reflexive verbs) demean *abase, degrade, debase, humble, humiliate Contrasted words: heighten, enhance (see INTENSIFY): * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • demean — ► VERB 1) cause to suffer a loss of dignity or respect. 2) (demean oneself) do something that is beneath one s dignity. DERIVATIVES demeaning adjective. ORIGIN from DE (Cf. ↑de ) + MEAN …   English terms dictionary

  • demean — demean1 [dē mēn′, dimēn′] vt. [ DE + MEAN2, after DEBASE] to lower in status or character; degrade; humble [to demean oneself by taking a bribe] demean2 [dē mēn′, dimēn′] vt. [see DEMEANOR] to behave, conduct …   English World dictionary

  • Demean — De*mean , n. [See {Demesne}.] 1. Demesne. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 2. pl. Resources; means. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] You know How narrow our demeans are. Massinger. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • demean — I (deport oneself) verb acquit, act, appear, bear, behave, carry, comport, conduct, convey the impression, create the impression, function, have the mien, leave the impression, look, manage, present oneself, present the appearance, quit,… …   Law dictionary

  • demean — [v] humble, humiliate abase, badmouth*, belittle, bemean, cast down, contemn, cut down to size*, cut rate, debase, decry, degrade, derogate, descend, despise, detract, dis*, disparage, dump on*, knock down*, lower, pan*, poor mouth*, scorn, sink …   New thesaurus

  • demean — I v. (formal) (D; refl.) ( to degrade ) to demean by (I will not demean myself by cheating on the examination) II v. (formal) (d; refl.) ( to behave ) (he demeaned himself like a gentleman) * * * [dɪ miːn] (formal) (D; refl.) ( to degrade ) to… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • demean — UK [dɪˈmiːn] / US [dɪˈmɪn] verb [transitive] Word forms demean : present tense I/you/we/they demean he/she/it demeans present participle demeaning past tense demeaned past participle demeaned formal to make people have less respect for someone… …   English dictionary

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