Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A class of women supported by wealthy lovers and considered to be promiscuous or otherwise unrespectable.
  • noun Women prostitutes considered as a group.
  • noun A group whose respectability is dubious:

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Commonly, but less correctly, courtezans in general.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Persons of doubtful reputation; esp., women who are kept as mistresses, though not public prostitutes; demireps.
  • noun writers of the lowest kind.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A class of women kept by wealthy protectors; female prostitutes as a group
  • noun A group having little respect or reputation

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

  • noun a class of woman not considered respectable because of indiscreet or promiscuous behavior

Etymologies

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

[French demi-monde : demi-, demi- + monde, world (from Latin mundus).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French demi half + monde world

Examples

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