De·mean v. t. [imp. & p. p. Demeaned p. pr. & vb. n. Demeaning.]
1. To manage; to conduct; to treat.
[Our] clergy have with violence demeaned the matter. --Milton.
2. To conduct; to behave; to comport; -- followed by the reflexive pronoun.
They have demeaned themselves
Like men born to renown by life or death. --Shak.
They answered . . . that they should demean themselves according to their instructions. --Clarendon.
3. To debase; to lower; to degrade; -- followed by the reflexive pronoun.
Her son would demean himself by a marriage with an artist's daughter. --Thackeray.
Note: ☞ This sense is probably due to a false etymology which regarded the word as connected with the adjective mean.
1. Management; treatment. [Obs.]
Vile demean and usage bad. --Spenser.
2. Behavior; conduct; bearing; demeanor. [Obs.]
With grave demean and solemn vanity. --West.
1. Demesne. [Obs.]
2. pl. Resources; means. [Obs.]
How narrow our demeans are. --Massinger.
v : reduce in worth or character, usually verbally; "She tends
to put down younger women colleagues"; "His critics took
him down after the lecture" [syn: take down, degrade,
disgrace, put down]