Definition of demure in English:

demure

adjective

  • 1(of a woman or her behaviour) reserved, modest, and shy.

    ‘I shared a compartment with a child and his demure governess’
    • ‘We saw them transformed from calm, demure ladies to bears protecting their cubs when the neighborhood bully was on our heels.’
    • ‘Beatrice was demure, reserved, enjoyed those tedious dinner parties of state, and seemed content to spend her afternoons bent over needlework.’
    • ‘One otherwise perfectly demure woman jumped onto a chair, gesturing frantically.’
    • ‘The wife of the first son is demure and timid, but the wife of the second son answers back to the cousin.’
    • ‘A short, demure girl stepped away from the teacher, her hands nervously clasped in front of her.’
    • ‘She approached them steadily, trying to remember to be a demure and proper young lady.’
    • ‘Rivka's desire is rebellious and demonstrates a strong will hidden beyond a demure and feminine modesty.’
    • ‘Dårlig is a small, white slip behind him, radiant, demure, almost embarrassed by the attention she and her husband are receiving.’
    • ‘The one person who evokes sympathy is Bruce's demure wife.’
    • ‘Piper had always been perceived as demure, innocent, sweet.’
    • ‘The small demure woman who had taken her letter led Miri through a narrow hallway, which sloped downward and seemed to shrink as they progressed down it.’
    • ‘He had heard it said that her innocent demeanour combined with her intelligent mind made her a refreshing change from mindlessly demure damsels.’
    • ‘The long skirts, the burkhas, the demure looks, the curled tresses, the composure, the sensuality, the shy glance - these are all so hauntingly remindful of a bygone era.’
    • ‘They were all speechless, ignoring the delicious food before them, and watched the demure girl glide across the floor towards the zither.’
    • ‘She was the lone female wrestler of the evening but she was not your average demure lady.’
    • ‘Pierre's own Chagall in this show is a Paris canvas of 1911, The betrothed, an evocation of the artist's fiancée in Russia dressed as a demure veiled bride.’
    • ‘I mean, I thought I'd get nice, small questions from quiet, demure girls that would be too shy to ask anything, really.’
    • ‘She taught her how to act polite, demure, obedient and respectful.’
    • ‘I'd intended to be mature and sedate and demure and just wistfully watch the young guests from afar.’
    • ‘How could she be so demure one second, and such a raging animal the next?’
    modest, unassuming, meek, mild, reserved, retiring, quiet, shy, bashful, diffident, reticent, timid, timorous, shrinking
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of clothing) lending a modest appearance.
      ‘a demure white lace cap’
      • ‘Anne, looking demure in a little black dress, took the microphone in front of a backdrop advertising Herriot Country to thank voters for her increased majority.’
      • ‘Sure she was wiry, but her businesslike combination of grey slacks and white blouse suggested someone quite demure.’
      • ‘On that occasion she relentlessly scrounged, albeit in a sweetly demure fashion, cigarettes from all and sundry, suggesting a certain profligacy towards other people's property.’
      • ‘Sipping a coffee and wearing a demure blue shirt, she does not look like a woman who has influenced a world leader.’
      • ‘She's wearing a green plaid top, rather like the top half of a business suit, that manages to be both demure and revealing.’
      • ‘The dress was made of white Duchesse satin and had a form-fitting bodice with a demure boat neckline.’
      • ‘Yokes and sleeves are obvious choices for a peek-a-boo look, and for evening or vacation wear, consider a midriff inset in a seductive sheer or demure lace.’
      • ‘Delicious and demure the dress is successfully re-mastered in a season where soft femininity is the story of the day.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While she wore a modest and demure navy blue business suit, it was readily apparent that she was quite a lovely lady.’
      • ‘A demure figure in gloves and lace-trimmed dress, the queen is rising from her throne, revealing a small foot.’
      • ‘While the red dress was provocative and outrageous, this dress was demure and conservative, not exposing much of anything.’
      • ‘Today his shirt is a demure cream colour, and his pants are beige, with a funny cut from two generations ago.’
      • ‘Above the demure neckline of the simply cut dress, the girl's face was a pale oval.’
      • ‘Was I supposed to find something appropriately frilly and covered in sequins, or should I wear something demure and modest?’
      • ‘It had straps, so it showed a bit of her shoulders, but the dress was demure.’

Origin

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.

Pronunciation

demure

/dɪˈmjʊə//dɪˈmjɔː/