Definition of demure in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈmjʊə/
Pronunciation: /dɪˈmjɔː/

adjective (demurer, demurest)

1(Of a woman or her behaviour) reserved, modest, and shy: a demure little wife who sits at home minding the house
More example sentences
  • One otherwise perfectly demure woman jumped onto a chair, gesturing frantically.
  • I mean, I thought I'd get nice, small questions from quiet, demure girls that would be too shy to ask anything, really.
  • We saw them transformed from calm, demure ladies to bears protecting their cubs when the neighborhood bully was on our heels.
modest, unassuming, meek, mild, reserved, retiring, quiet, shy, bashful, diffident, reticent, timid, timorous, shrinking;
decorous, decent, seemly, ladylike, respectable, proper, virtuous, pure, innocent, maidenly, virginal, chaste;
sober, sedate, staid, prim, prim and proper, priggish, prissy, prudish, goody-goody, strait-laced, puritanical, old-maidish
informal straight, starchy, uptight, square
archaic retired
1.1(Of clothing) suggesting that a woman is demure: a demure white lace cap
More example sentences
  • Judith's virtue is indicated by the demure clothing and veil that cover her from head to toe while Holofernes, in contrast, is almost naked.
  • It had straps, so it showed a bit of her shoulders, but the dress was demure.
  • While the red dress was provocative and outrageous, this dress was demure and conservative, not exposing much of anything.



Pronunciation: /dɪˈmjʊəli/
Pronunciation: /dɪˈmjɔːli/
Example sentences
  • He had originally proposed an idea for a tamer programme, aimed at a young audience but with contestants sitting demurely on a sofa answering general knowledge questions.
  • You can be demurely sipping a cup of tea on the veranda of the old Moana Hotel, or boldly practicing your marksmanship at the Royal Hawaiian Shooting Club.
  • Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, resides demurely in the shadow cast by its more flamboyant sister city, Sydney.


Pronunciation: /dɪˈmjʊənəs/
Pronunciation: /dɪˈmjɔːnəs/
Example sentences
  • Is it some kind of attempt at demureness and modesty?
  • ‘Hello Mark… ‘she said lowering her eyed in fake demureness and smiling so that her dimples showed.’
  • Her costuming focuses on tight-fitting outfits that emphasize her figure while at the same time, in contrast, a full, loose hairstyle sometimes conveys demureness.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'sober, serious, reserved'): perhaps from Old French demoure, past participle of demourer 'remain' (see demur); influenced by Old French mur 'grave', from Latin maturus 'ripe or mature'. The sense 'reserved, shy' dates from the late 17th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de¦mure

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