What does demure mean?

Definitions for demure

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word demure.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. coy, demure, overmodestadjective

    affectedly modest or shy especially in a playful or provocative way


  1. demureadjective

    Quiet, modest, reserved, sober, or serious.

    She is a demure young lady.

  2. Etymology: From meur (Modern French mûr) from maturus. The "de-" is unexplained.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. DEMUREadjective

    Etymology: des mæurs, French.

    Lo! two most lovely virgins came in place,
    With countenance demure, and modest grace. Fairy Queen.

    Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,
    Sober, stedfast and demure. John Milton.

    After a demure travel of regard, I tell them I know my place, as I would they should do theirs. William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.

    There be many wise men, that have secret hearts and transparent countenances; yet this would be done with a demure abasing of your eye sometimes. Francis Bacon, Essay 23.

    A company of mice, peeping out of their holes, spied a cat, that lay and looked so demure as if there had been neither life nor soul in her. Roger L'Estrange.

    So cat, transform’d, sat gravely and demure,
    ’Till mouse appear’d, and thought himself secure. Dryden.

    Jove sent and found, far in a country scene,
    Truth, innocence, good-nature, look serene;
    From which ingredients, first, the dext’rous boy
    Pick’d the demure, the aukward, and the coy. Jonathan Swift.

  2. To Demureverb

    To look with an affected modesty.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes,
    And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour,
    Demuring upon me. William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra.


  1. demure

    Modesty, sometimes known as demureness, is a mode of dress and deportment which intends to avoid the encouraging of sexual attraction in others. The word "modesty" comes from the Latin word modestus which means "keeping within measure". Standards of modesty are culturally and context dependent and vary widely. In this use, it may be considered inappropriate or immodest to reveal certain parts of the body. In some societies, modesty may involve women covering their bodies completely and not talking to men who are not immediate family members; in others, a fairly revealing but one-piece bathing costume is considered modest while other women wear bikinis. In some countries, exposure of the body in breach of community standards of modesty is also considered to be public indecency, and public nudity is generally illegal in most of the world and regarded as indecent exposure. For example, Stephen Gough, a lone man attempting to walk naked from south to north in the United Kingdom, was repeatedly imprisoned. However, nudity is at times tolerated in some societies; for example by Digambara monks in India, who renounce clothing for ascetic reasons, and during a World Naked Bike Ride.In semi-public contexts standards of modesty can vary by region. Nudity may be acceptable in public single-sex changing rooms at swimming baths, for example, or for mass medical examination of people for military service. In private, standards again depend upon the circumstances. A person who would never disrobe in the presence of the opposite sex in a social context might unquestioningly do so for a medical examination; others might allow examination, but only by a person of the same sex.


  1. demure

    Demure typically refers to a behavior often described as modest, reserved, or shy, particularly in a deliberate or affected way. It can also suggest an appearance of innocence or humility. It's usually used in the context of describing a person, often a woman's demeanor or style.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Demureadjective

    of sober or serious mien; composed and decorous in bearing; of modest look; staid; grave

  2. Demureadjective

    affectedly modest, decorous, or serious; making a show of gravity

  3. Demureverb

    to look demurely

  4. Etymology: [Perh. from OF. de murs (i. e., de bonnes murs of good manners); de of + murs, mours, meurs, mors, F. murs, fr. L. mores (sing. mos) manners, morals (see Moral); or more prob. fr. OF. mer, F. mr mature, ripe (see Mature) in a phrase preceded by de, as de mre conduite of mature conduct.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Demure

    de-mūr′, adj. sober: staid: modest: affectedly modest: making a show of gravity.—adv. Demure′ly.—n. Demure′ness. [O. Fr. de (bons) murs, of good manners—L. de, of, mores, manners.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of demure in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of demure in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of demure in a Sentence

  1. John Milton:

    Come, pensive nun, devout and pure, sober steadfast, and demure, all in a robe of darkest grain, flowing with majestic train.

  2. Alan Marshall Beck:

    A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot.



  4. Liza Anderson:

    Emma Stone would look to be an award-winning actress now, there’s no better position to be in right now.I ’m sure Emma Stone has Hollywood banging at Emma Stone door. Emma Stone’s a perfect combination of outspoken and demure, and those are qualities that both men and women love. It’s a remake of a smash hit, but the reason it was so successful is because of the global attention Emma Stone got and because of who Emma Stone is...

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Translations for demure

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"demure." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/demure>.

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