Definitions

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

  • n. A person of doubtful reputation or respectability.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A woman of doubtful reputation or suspected character; an adventuress.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A woman of doubtful reputation or suspected character; an adventuress.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A woman of doubtful reputation or suspected chastity.

Etymologies

demi- + rep(utation).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From demi- +‎ reputation. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For a little reputation at a dinner table, for a coaxing nobe from some titled demirep affecting the De Stael, they forget not only to be glorious but even to be respectable.

    Godolphin, Volume 2.

  • The depreciatory or vilificatory fashionable novel delights in exposing the peccadilloes, or imagined peccadilloes, (for it is all the same,) of young or old people of fashion: a gourmand peer, a titled demirep, a "desperate dandy," a black-leg, and a few such other respectable characters, are dialogued through the customary number of chapters, and conducted to the usual catastrophe: virtue is triumphant, vice abashed, towards the latter end of the last volume; and some low-born hero and heroine, introduced to exhibit, by contrast, the vices of the aristocracy, suddenly, and without any effort of their own, acquire large fortunes, perhaps titles, which it would have been just as easy to have given them at first—go to church in an orthodox manner, and set up a virtuous aristocracy of their own.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 327, January, 1843

  • Though Jones had no reason to imagine the lady to have been of the vestal kind when his amour began; yet, as he was thoroughly ignorant of the town, and had very little acquaintance in it, he had no knowledge of that character which is vulgarly called a demirep; that is to say, a woman who intrigues with every man she likes, under the name and appearance of virtue; and who, though some overnice ladies will not be seen with her, is visited (as they term it) by the whole town, in short, whom everybody knows to be what nobody calls her.

    The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

  • Madeline chided herself for her vulgar thoughts; while the woman had a beauty and sensuality that could match or surpass any demirep in England, the perfect face glowed with the unstudied sweetness and innocence of a Madonna.

    Dearly Beloved

  • "Even a demirep doesn't spend all her time on her back, my lord," she said with a hint of acidity.

    Dearly Beloved

  • Still, any demirep Gervase found at Harriette Wilson's was apt to have Colette's faults -- volatility and greed -- in spades.

    Dearly Beloved

  • The real opposition came from Madeline, who had lived the life of a demirep without regret or apology.

    Dearly Beloved

  • "I don't doubt that -- it's a requirement for a demirep of her standing," Gervase commented dryly.

    Dearly Beloved

  • But she was the mistress of Aubynwood now, not a demirep, and he would not dare to coerce her.

    Dearly Beloved

  • I knew that I must come to London and try the life of a demirep, and I know now that I must see more of Lord St. Aubyn.

    Dearly Beloved

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Comments

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  • Demimondaine a tad less hot..

    July 18, 2012

  • The only example in English where a prefix, not a suffix, feminizes a masculine noun.

    Rep means a disreputable man.

    December 17, 2007

  • A person of doubtful reputation or respectability

    December 16, 2007