Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To conduct or behave (oneself) in a particular manner: demeaned themselves well in class.
  • transitive v. To debase, as in dignity or social standing: professionals who feel demeaned by unskilled work.
  • transitive v. To humble (oneself). See Synonyms at degrade.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To manage; to conduct; to treat.
  • v. To conduct; to behave; to comport; -- followed by the reflexive pronoun.
  • n. Management; treatment.
  • n. Behavior; conduct; bearing; demeanor.
  • n. demesne.
  • n. resources; means.
  • v. To debase; to lower; to degrade.
  • v. To humble, humble oneself; to humiliate.
  • v. To mortify.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Management; treatment.
  • n. Behavior; conduct; bearing; demeanor.
  • n. Demesne.
  • n. Resources; means.
  • transitive v. To manage; to conduct; to treat.
  • transitive v. To conduct; to behave; to comport; -- followed by the reflexive pronoun.
  • transitive v. To debase; to lower; to degrade; -- followed by the reflexive pronoun.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lead; guide; conduct.
  • To conduct; manage; control; exercise; do.
  • Reflexively, to behave; carry; conduct.
  • To debase; lower; lower the dignity or standing of; bemean.
  • n. Dealing; management; treatment.
  • n. Mien; demeanor; behavior; conduct.
  • n. Same as demain.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. reduce in worth or character, usually verbally

Etymologies

Middle English demeinen, to govern, from Old French demener : de-, de- + mener, to conduct (from Latin mināre, to drive (animals), from minārī, to threaten, from minae, threats; see men-2 in Indo-European roots).
de- + mean2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
(1595) From de- +‎ mean "lowly, base" from Middle English mene, aphetic variation of imene ("mean, base, common"), from Old English ġemǣne ("mean, common"). (Wiktionary)
Middle English demenen, demeinen, from Anglo-Norman demener, from Old French demener, from de- + mener ("to conduct, lead"), from Latin mināre and Latin minārī "to threaten" (Wiktionary)
Var. of demesne. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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