- From be- + mean (“base, lowly”), from Middle English mene, aphetic variation of Middle English imene ("average, lowly, mean"), from Old English ġemǣne ("mean, common, average"). More at mean. (Wiktionary)
“Many ports have a capital race-course, which is always circular in shape, enclosing what are generally the grounds of the recreation club, while almost every sporting man trains a pony or two, which he frets and fumes over in a style that would not bemean a Newmarket turf magnate.”
“We belittle ourselves in the sight of God and men, bemean ourselves in the presence of the moral law, and stay more or less our progress in the great educational work of life.”
Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women On the Various Duties of Life, Physical, Intellectual, And Moral Development; Self-Culture, Improvement, Dress, Beauty, Fashion, Employment, Education, The Home Relations, Their Duties To Young Men, Marriage, Womanhood And Happiness.
“Nothing of the kind," cried Lavinia, furious that her mother should think she would so bemean herself.”
“Thomas gives warning because his master has given up reading prayers, and he can't bemean himself by "sayin '` Amen' to a governess.”
“They could scarcely believe that anyone so beautiful and dainty as Betsy Butterfly would bemean herself by robbing Farmer Green -- or anybody else.”
“I wouldn't bemean myself," countered Horace loftily, and didn't.”
“He would bemean himself sufficiently to overlook Frau's caddishness.”
“To dream that you have a wooden leg, denotes that you will bemean yourself in a false way to your friends.”
“You and me's in different walks of life, and it's my bounden duty to see as you don't bemean yourself.”
“The most loathsome reptile, rolling in the slush and slime of its stagnant pool, would not bemean itself thus.”
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