Definition of demur in English:

demur

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Raise objections or show reluctance.

    ‘normally she would have accepted the challenge, but she demurred’
    • ‘Keyes agrees the anthology ‘is very revealing’, but demurs from the notion her writing is closely tied to her experience.’
    • ‘Humans, she demurs, are not accustomed to such ‘rapid changes,’ as she terminates the relationship.’
    • ‘‘I'm not interested in Hollywood,’ she demurs.’
    • ‘‘I'm not a very good close reader of my own work,’ she demurs when asked to explain the meaning of an incident near the end of The Namesake.’
    • ‘When asked the age of her son she cheerfully demurs, claiming with some justification that such questions are normally only asked as a way of deducing her own age - dangerous information, which most sopranos prefer to keep to themselves.’
    • ‘‘Gee, Bob,’ Fisher smartly demurred, ‘I'm not sure if that's advisable at this point.’’
    • ‘He demurs: any movement of a certain size will attract people who are ‘a bit fanatical’ but ‘you're never going to agree with all of them’.’
    • ‘‘Not because I'm the best, but because I'm the fastest,’ he demurs in his New York-via-Edinburgh accent.’
    • ‘Yet every time he's asked about his influence, English demurs, deflects all credit onto the team, the players.’
    • ‘She's not unmoved, but demurs because she doesn't want to complicate their arrangement.’
    • ‘‘I couldn't possibly tell you,’ he demurs, looking vaguely embarrassed.’
    • ‘‘I don't think I'll ever be in such a big hit as that again, because that's impossible,’ she demurs.’
    • ‘Yet Stevenson demurs mildly, and says diplomatically: ‘I think actors often improvise in character in a scripted film, so it's not that unusual.’’
    • ‘‘So I've heard,’ I demurred, moving farther down the aisle in search of something for my own late night viewing.’
    • ‘He demurs: ‘Losing a battle does not mean you will lose the war.’’
    • ‘‘You'll have to talk to the industry spokespeople about that,’ he demurred.’
    • ‘‘I can't tell you,’ he demurred during the salad course.’
    • ‘Greenspan agreed with his diagnosis, but demurred.’
    • ‘He demurs on the idea of stiffer criminal penalties, but suggests there may be a need for more sentencing guidelines on civil fraud and failed audits.’
    • ‘‘No, no,’ he demurs, waving his hands in front of his face.’
    raise objections, object, take exception, take issue, protest, lodge a protest, cavil, dissent
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    1. 1.1Law dated Put forward a demurrer.
      • ‘Indeed, although this is not before the Court, I am sure my learned friend would not demur at my reading it - we have copies for the Court.’
      • ‘I would not demur at all from what your Honour says.’
      • ‘It can be dealt with in the ordinary way and if the Judge who hears the matter thinks there is anything in it, well, it will proceed to trial or maybe the Commonwealth will demur or you will demur, as the case may be.’
      • ‘The defendant could not have demurred to the plaintiff's declaration, which would have shown a perfectly good cause of action, and, unless the defendant set up something to defeat the claim, the action would have been maintainable.’
      • ‘The reference in the final sentence of this passage is to the fact that the claimants had not demurred to the ten heads of particulars pleaded by the newspaper in support of meaning, namely grounds for investigation.’

noun

  • mass noun, usually with negative The action of objecting to or hesitating over something.

    ‘they accepted this ruling without demur’
    • ‘Those of us who demur are labelled ‘self-haters’.’
    • ‘Workers and unions are enjoined to accept wage cuts without too much demur, provided they are satisfied jobs would be saved.’
    • ‘Much, and much of the best, criticism in the past decade has been thus motivated; we now know a poet less quaint, less demur, and more politically engaged than previous generations might have imagined.’
    • ‘Prudie has long felt that the reflexive, polite demur is not necessary when people are impertinently out of line, either with their advice or their questions.’
    • ‘You can plead by way of reply and demur, can you not?’
    objection, protest, protestation, complaint, dispute, dissent, carping, cavilling, recalcitrance, opposition, resistance
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Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘linger, delay’): from Old French demourer (verb), demeure (noun), based on Latin de- ‘away, completely’ + morari ‘delay’.

Pronunciation

demur

/dɪˈməː/