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From demi- +‎ reputation.



demirep (plural demireps)

  1. (colloquial, dated) A woman of doubtful reputation or suspected character; an adventuress.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, page 569:
      he had no knowledge of that character which is vulgarly called a demirep; that is to say, a woman who intrigues with every man she likes, under the name and appearance of virtue [...] in short, whom everybody knows to be what nobody calls her.
    • 1813, Leigh Hunt, in a journal article about the prince.(Chambers, R.. "'The Book of Days': A miscellany of popular antiquities. Londres: W & R Chambers, 1832." Google Books):
      [] in short, this delightful, blissful, wise, pleasurable, honourable, virtuous, true, and immortal prince, was a violator of his word, a libertine, over head and ears in disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps [] .
    • 1822, Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater:
      [] the greater part of our confessions (that is, spontaneous and extra-judicial confessions) proceed from demireps, adventurers, or swindlers [] .
    • 1904, Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol:
      With the mincing step of a demirep / Some sidled up the stairs [] .
    • 1932, Duff Cooper, Talleyrand, Folio Society 2010, p. 65:
      In this new world, ruled by charlatans and dominated by demireps, Talleyrand may have found much to shock his sense of decorum, but little to outrage his moral standards.