American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A class of women kept by wealthy lovers or protectors.
- n. Women prostitutes considered as a group.
- n. A group whose respectability is dubious or whose success is marginal: the literary demimonde of ghost writers, hacks, and publicists. Also called demiworld.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A term introduced by Alexandre Dumas the younger to denote (as defined by himself) that class of women who occupy an equivocal position between women of good reputation and social standing on the one hand and courtezans on the other; women of equivocal reputation and standing in society.
- n. Commonly, but less correctly, courtezans in general.
- n. A class of women kept by wealthy protectors; female prostitutes as a group
- n. A group having little respect or reputation
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Persons of doubtful reputation; esp., women who are kept as mistresses, though not public prostitutes; demireps.
- n. See Demimonde.
- n. a class of woman not considered respectable because of indiscreet or promiscuous behavior
- French demi half + monde world (Wiktionary)
- French demi-monde : demi-, demi- + monde, world (from Latin mundus). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Where else but San Francisco would an underground gourmet produce market become the destination for the downtown demimonde to purchase kombucha and bergamot marmalade on their weekend nights?”
“Perfect blocking turned the stage's perimeters and centers into a spacious feline demimonde through which to enact a spiritual ceremony that felt like a combination of West Side Story, Woodstock, and Stonehenge.”
“In 11 volumes published between 1888 and 1894, and many years later widely published in a condensed edition, the narrator's adventures in the London demimonde are narrated in such detail as ultimately to become tiresome rather than titillating.”
“The ECB resists, and all who balk will be chastised by the monied powers and their demimonde, the ratings agencies and global banks.”
“And that Joe and Ratso rise above the material, taking on a reality of their own while the screenplay detours into the fashionable New York demimonde.”
“Rather than posit the voyeur -- I mean viewer -- in a demimonde of hustlers, junkies and transvestites of his classic films, in News From Nowhere Morrissey looks to the suburbs for darker lurkings, specifically the coastal town of Montauk, situated on the eastern-most point of Long Island, where the land finally ends, and gives way to a vast ocean.”
“The aesthetic common denominator was a "finish fetish" or "fetish finish," your choice borrowed from the southern California demimonde of hot rods and custom cars—i.e., the kind of slick, finicky attention to smooth perfection required when applying dozens of hand-rubbed coats of cherry-red enamel to an auto body.”
“The homosexual demimonde of the 1880s and 1890s will certainly feature in some of my stories, but these aren't in any sense "gay murder mysteries.”
“Sinclair considered him a young man of the demimonde but decided to treat him like a reasonable human being anyway.”
“Much has changed since then, but the topic of women and violence — especially as represented by women — remains more or less in a time warp, bound by the themes of sexual and domestic trauma, just as male depictions of female violence are locked in the noir demimonde of fantasy, the slinky femmes fatales once played by Barbara Stanwyck and Lana Turner more or less duplicated by Kathleen Turner and Sharon Stone.”
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Words rounded up while reading The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain.
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