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From Middle English demenure, from the verb Middle English demenen, demeinen (to handle, manage), from Old French demener (to guide, conduct), from de- + mener (to conduct, lead), from Latin *mināre (to drive) and minor (to project or jut forth).



demeanor (countable and uncountable, plural demeanors)

  1. (American spelling) The social, non-verbal behaviours (such as body language and facial expressions) that are characteristic of a person.
    The man's demeanor made others suspicious of his intentions.
    A confident demeanor is crucial for persuading others.
    • a. 1587, Raphael Holinshed, quoting Strabo, Historie of England[1], Book III:
      At this present (saith he) certeine princes of Britaine, procuring by ambassadors and dutifull demeanors the amitie of the emperour Augustus, haue offered in the capitoll vnto the gods presents or gifts, and haue ordeined the whole Ile in a manner to be appertinent, proper, and familiar to the Romans.
    • 1993, “Interrogation: The Kinesics Technique”, in John J. Fay, editor, Encyclopedia of Security Management[2], →ISBN, page 418:
      Demeanors that are apologetic and overly polite are inherently contradictory to demeanors that exhibit fear and anger.


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