1. [syn: demeaning, humbling, humiliating, mortifying]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Demean \De*mean"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Demeaned; p. pr. & vb.
n. Demeaning.] [OF. demener to conduct, guide, manage, F.
se d['e]mener to struggle; pref. d['e]- (L. de) + mener to
lead, drive, carry on, conduct, fr. L. minare to drive
animals by threatening cries, fr. minari to threaten. See
1. To manage; to conduct; to treat.
[Our] clergy have with violence demeaned the matter.
2. To conduct; to behave; to comport; -- followed by the
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.
3. To debase; to lower; to degrade; -- followed by the
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.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: causing awareness of your shortcomings; "golf is a
humbling game" [syn: demeaning, humbling,
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
49 Moby Thesaurus words for "demeaning":
beneath one, cheap, common, debasing, degrading, deplorable,
disadvantaged, disgraceful, gutter, humble, humiliating,
humiliative, in the shade, inferior, infra dig, infra indignitatem,
junior, less, lesser, low, lower, lowly, minor, modest,
opprobrious, ordinary, outrageous, pitiful, sad, scandalous,
second rank, second string, secondary, servile, shameful, shocking,
sorry, sub, subaltern, subject, subordinate, subservient,
third rank, third string, too bad, unbecoming, underprivileged,
unworthy of one, vulgar