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From Old French meur (Modern French mûr) from Latin maturus. The "de-" is "of", of modesty.


Distinguish from pronunciation of demur


demure ‎(comparative more demure, superlative most demure)

  1. Quiet, modest, reserved, sober, or serious.
    She is a demure young lady.
  2. Affectedly modest, decorous, or serious; making a show of gravity.
    • L'Estrange
      A cat lay, and looked so demure, as if there had been neither life nor soul in her.
    • Miss Mitford
      Miss Lizzy, I have no doubt, would be as demure and coquettish, as if ten winters more had gone over her head.

Derived terms[edit]



demure ‎(third-person singular simple present demures, present participle demuring, simple past and past participle demured)

  1. (obsolete) To look demurely.
    Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes... shall acquire no Honour Demuring upon me. – Shakespeare (1623) Antony & Cleopatra Act 4, Sc 16, Ln 30