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demean

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v demean reduce in worth or character, usually verbally "She tends to put down younger women colleagues","His critics took him down after the lecture"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Demean Behavior; conduct; bearing; demeanor. "With grave demean and solemn vanity."
    • Demean Demesne.
    • Demean Management; treatment. "Vile demean and usage bad."
    • Demean Resources; means. "You know
      How narrow our demeans are."
    • Demean To conduct; to behave; to comport; -- followed by the reflexive pronoun. "They have demeaned themselves
      Like men born to renown by life or death."
      "They answered . . . that they should demean themselves according to their instructions."
    • Demean To debase; to lower; to degrade; -- followed by the reflexive pronoun. "Her son would demean himself by a marriage with an artist's daughter."
    • Demean To manage; to conduct; to treat. "Our] clergy have with violence demeaned the matter."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • demean To lead; guide; conduct.
    • demean To conduct; manage; control; exercise; do.
    • demean Reflexively, to behave; carry; conduct.
    • n demean Dealing; management; treatment.
    • n demean Mien; demeanor; behavior; conduct.
    • demean To debase; lower; lower the dignity or standing of; bemean. [This is in origin a misuse of demean by association with the adjective mean. Being thus illegitimate in origin and inconvenient in use, from its tendency to be confused with demean in its proper sense, the word is avoided by scrupulous writers. See bemean.]
    • n demean Same as demain.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Demean de-mēn′ to conduct (with self): to behave
    • v.t Demean de-mēn′ to make mean: to lower.
    • ***

Quotations

  • David Sarnoff
    David Sarnoff
    “We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears. We must not demean life by standing in awe of death.”
  • Susan Sontag
    Susan%20Sontag
    “A fiction about soft or easy deaths is part of the mythology of most diseases that are not considered shameful or demeaning.”
  • George F. Will
    George%20F.%20Will
    “Ronald Reagan has held the two most demeaning jobs in the country; President of the United States and radio broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. demener, to conduct, guide, manage, F. se démener, to struggle; pref. dé-,L. de,) + mener, to lead, drive, carry on, conduct, fr. L. minare, to drive animals by threatening cries, fr. minari, to threaten. See Menace
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
More prob. on the analogy of debase, from de, and mean, low, than the same word as the preceding with specialised sense.

Usage

In literature:

Why had he demeaned himself by asking a fellow like Newall to shake hands with him?
"The Hero of Garside School" by J. Harwood Panting
But don't do so for my sake, Leopold, for you have yourself said it would demean you.
"Major Frank" by A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint
Now, there's one as shall be nameless that wouldn't demean himself to say a word about money.
"The Struggles of Brown, Jones, and Robinson" by Anthony Trollope
You would demean yourself to that?
"Reels and Spindles" by Evelyn Raymond
Suppose I had gone to Mildred and had asked her if she had expressed herself of such a demeaning declaration?
"The Strange Adventures of Mr. Middleton" by Wardon Allan Curtis
Him, that ought to be proud of her demeaning herself to stoop to a young chap in a lower station, so to call.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
She saw the patched boots and that shabby coat which Sarah the housemaid felt that she rather demeaned herself by brushing.
"The Perpetual Curate" by Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant
For his sake so demean thyself that all that he hath done will be condoned.
"In Doublet and Hose" by Lucy Foster Madison
Why should she demean her lord by pronouncing publicly his sacred name?
"India, Its Life and Thought" by John P. Jones
He had never lied, never seduced, never stooped to anything which seemed to him demeaning.
"The Countess of Albany" by Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)
I grant he may have been the first who ever did so from choice, but was he demeaned thereby?
"Our Home in the Silver West" by Gordon Stables
And I tell you, Samantha Allen, you may demean that grand glorious place all you're a minter; I shall see it ere long.
"Samantha at Coney Island" by Marietta Holley
Think you that a thern would demean himself by labour?
"The Gods of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Certainly it is demeaning to our State to think otherwise.
"The Prison Chaplaincy, And Its Experiences" by Hosea Quinby
I wouldn't even so much as look at a man who'd demean himself to put such words as them into my mouth.
"Marion Fay" by Anthony Trollope
She wouldn't demean herself by addressing a word to any one under a duke.
"A City Schoolgirl" by May Baldwin
O Sir, says I, I am sure you can have no such Thoughts, you cannot demean your self so low.
"An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews" by Conny Keyber
Do you honestly believe that the great God above demeans Himself and His Majesty and Might to annoy one of His children?
"Anxious Audrey" by Mabel Quiller-Couch
He couldn't demean himself, even in that state, to make it less.
"Aliens" by William McFee
I would not demean my own hands by touching you.
"Crestlands" by Mary Addams Bayne
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In poetry:

Am I so mean? Life is demeaning,
Has the Word lost its wondrous meaning?
Why am I lured and mortified
By paid delight?
"Judas And Jesus" by Endre Ady
For a bra
(need we mention it?),
the padded black one that my lover demeaned
when I took it off.
He said, "Where'd it all go?"
"Clothes" by Anne Sexton
Winter Connecticut, whose air is clean
As a new icicle to cut the throat,
Whose black and rigid trees will not demean
Themselves to swagger in a crystal coat.
"The Golden Corpse" by Stephen Vincent Benet

In news:

Demeaning comments about breasts and pregnancy.
Incensed by Ali 's demeaning him as an "Uncle Tom," Frazier inflicts the first defeat of Ali 's career -- a 15-round decision.
Negative campaigning is injurious to our democratic processes because it exploits, demeans, polarizes and has a damaging effect not only on the electoral process but also the social fabric of the nation.
District Judge Ken Post admits statements he made in a December court proceeding may be considered "demeaning" and that he abused his discretion when finding Stanton attorney Scott Millard in contempt of court.
Half-hearted attempt at online democracy demeans the political process.
I appreciate recent letters explaining how some Halloween decorations can be demeaning to those with a mental illness .
It all seems harmless enough until director Gabriele Muccino crassly starts throwing women at him, demeaning the characters and the exploited actresses who play them,including Judy Greer, Uma Thurman Catherine Zeta-Jones.
An internal review officer with Albuquerque ran a website filled with sexually charged pictures and demeaning comments toward women.
Union president calls pat-downs "a demeaning experience".
The stories about Assemblyman Vito Lopez groping and demeaning female staff members are flooding out of the back rooms in Albany.
Even so, many school fans are growing weary of the seven-year fight over a name many people think is demeaning to Native Americans.
Should we object to each and every sexist remark and demeaning incident.
If you don't believe me, recall how many of the manly men in your own lives—that is, in the rough world that existed before GPS—would demean themselves by begging guidance from a gas station attendant.
School's 'Seniores,' 'Señoritas' events called demeaning.
That explanation shape-shifted from a protest over a film that demeaned Muslims to an organized terrorist attack.
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In science:

For the QMLE, demean the data by computing Y − X β and determining bIβ, for a given β, and then minimize either dK L or dK LN to obtain θ estimates (either exact or approximate); then update β by plugging into (23) and iterate.
Asymptotic Theory of Cepstral Random Fields
Both signals are demeaned; for viewing, the top signal is vertically offset by 0.05.
Forces on Bins - The Effect of Random Friction
Res t = 0 1 The formula for the truncated mean given in Johnson and Kotz (1971), p. 70 is only valid for a zero-mean vector or after demeaning all variables appropriately.
Moments Calculation For the Doubly Truncated Multivariate Normal Density
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