Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To voice opposition; object: demurred at the suggestion. See Synonyms at object.
  • intransitive v. Law To enter a demurrer.
  • intransitive v. To delay.
  • n. The act of demurring.
  • n. An objection.
  • n. A delay.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To linger; to stay; to tarry
  • v. To delay; to pause; to suspend proceedings or judgment in view of a doubt or difficulty; to hesitate; to put off the determination or conclusion of an affair.
  • v. To scruple or object; to take exception; to oppose; to balk
  • v. To interpose a demurrer.
  • v. To suspend judgment concerning; to doubt of or hesitate about
  • v. To cause delay to; to put off
  • n. Stop; pause; hesitation as to proceeding; suspense of decision or action; scruple.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To linger; to stay; to tarry.
  • intransitive v. To delay; to pause; to suspend proceedings or judgment in view of a doubt or difficulty; to hesitate; to put off the determination or conclusion of an affair.
  • intransitive v. To scruple or object; to take exception, especailly on the basis of scruple or modesty.
  • intransitive v. To interpose a demurrer. See Demurrer, 2.
  • transitive v. To suspend judgment concerning; to doubt of or hesitate about.
  • transitive v. To cause delay to; to put off.
  • n. Stop; pause; hesitation as to proceeding; suspense of decision or action; scruple.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To delay; linger; tarry.
  • To hesitate; suspend proceedings; delay conclusion or action.
  • To have or suggest scruples or difficulties; object irresolutely; take exception: as, they demurred to our proposals.
  • In law, to interpose a demurrer.
  • To put off; delay; keep in suspense.
  • To doubt of; scruple concerning; hesitate about: as, “to demur obedience,”
  • n. Stop; pause; hesitation as to proceeding or decision.
  • n. Exception (taken); objection (urged).

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

  • n. (law) a formal objection to an opponent's pleadings
  • v. enter a demurrer
  • v. take exception to

Etymologies

Middle English demuren, to delay, from Anglo-Norman demurer, from Latin dēmorārī : dē-, de- + morārī, to delay (from mora, delay).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman demorer, from Old French demorer (French demeurer), from Vulgar Latin demoro, Latin demorari ("to tarry"), from de- + morari ("to delay"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Moodie requested the use of a sofa for me during the night; but even that produced a demur from the landlord.

    Roughing It in the Bush

  • In the midst of an interesting Spiked essay on the disconcerting popularity of “denier” (as in “Holocaust denier”) as an increasingly broad descriptor for people who demur from the majority view on issues like climate change, Frank Furedi has a passing remark about how we increasingly tend to suppress overtly moral rhetoric, to conceal the normative claims we’re making:

    How Inappropriate!

  • They generally respond with a "demur" which is an attack on your complaint.

    Iris Martin: Homeowners: The War Games Have Begun

  • A large proportion of those who demur from indicating a formal religious affiliation believe religion is important, pray regularly, and even attend a given congregation on occasion.

    American Grace

  • It cost to get in, and it was home time for me, so I tried to demur, but, No. I pay.

    On Sunday morning, I woke with bleeding fingers and a pocket full of dice

  • Too often we demur praise, or will not praise ourselves.

    I Mean You.

  • Let us not demur, internets, I have a record to beat!

    Reading For Change

  • How else would potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates such as Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and -- more recently -- Donald Trump "wink" at the birthers, play coy, demur or dodge the issue; allude to the President's "Kenyan roots and connections," but never categorically discredit the birther movement?

    Dorian de Wind: Birthers: Leonard Pitts Doesn't Mince Words

  • 'If you demur I will immediately advertise it to be sold by auction.'

    Letter 157

  • (Upward had won a prize for poetry while at Cambridge University, but when Auden advised him to give up, he did so without demur.)

    The Captive Mind

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I consider myself an adventurous eater, but, if offered to partake of lemur femur, I must demur.

    April 27, 2008

  • Don't be surprised if I demur, for, be advised my passport's green. No glass of ours was ever raised to toast The Queen.
    (Seamus Heaney)

    March 23, 2008