Thursday, August 6, 2009

*Word of the Day*

The Word of the Day for August 06, 2009 is:

demean • \dih-MEEN\ • verb

: to conduct or behave (oneself) usually in a proper manner

Example Sentence:Sylvia was proud of the polite way her young children demeaned themselves in front of the dinner guests.

Did you know?There are two words spelled "demean" in English. The more familiar "demean" -- "to lower in character, status, or reputation" -- comes straight from "mean," the adjective that means "spiteful." Today's featured word, on the other hand, comes from the Anglo-French verb "demener" ("to conduct"), which in turn comes from Latin "minare," meaning "to drive." This verb has been with us since the 14th century and is generally used in contexts specifying a type of behavior: "he demeaned himself in a most unfriendly manner"; "she demeaned herself as befitting her station in life"; "they knew not how to demean themselves in the king's presence." As you may have already guessed, the noun "demeanor," meaning "behavior," comes from this "demean."

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