A Word A Day : Demur

Saturday, 22nd March 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Verb & Noun )

Past and past participle : demurred
Present participle : demurring
3rd person present singular : demurs

Pronunciation : di-múr

Definition : Verb

1. to delay or try to avoid doing something because of personal reservations or objections

2. to object mildly to something that you do not want to do but have been asked to do

3. to admit the facts of an opposing argument, but object that those facts alone are not by themselves adequate to make the case

4. to state something as a mild objection or a legal demurrer

Definition : Noun

1. The act of demurring

2. An objection

3. A delay


13th century - Via Old French demorer - delay, stay - Latin demorare

Synonyms : Verb

balk, cavil, challenge, combat, complain, deprecate, disapprove, dispute, doubt, fight, hesitate, object, oppose, pause, protest, pussyfoot, refuse, remonstrate, resist, scruple, shy, stick, stickle, strain, take exception, vacillate, waver, dissent

Synonyms : Noun

challenge, exception, expostulation, objection, protest, protestation, remonstrance, remonstration, squawk

Demur is the verb meaning to object or voice opposition.

Demure is the adjective meaning modest or shy.

Dissent means literally feel or think differently.

Dissident means sit apart or disagree.

Question means to challenge the accuracy, probity or propriety of.

Interrogate means to examine closely, aggressively or formally by posing a series of questions to.

Antonyms : Verb

accept, acquiesce, agree, concur, go along

Antonyms : Noun

acceptance, acquiescence, agreeing, concurrence, going along

Contextual Examples:

• Her mother and father had consented without demur and were happy in her happiness.

• After some delay and demur, the door grudgingly turned on its hinges a very little way and allowed him.

• The rider now cast his eyes warily around in search of some cause for this demur, when, to his dismay, he discovered an Indian fort within gunshot distance lowering through the twilight.

• They wanted to make him the treasurer, but he demurred.

• She may be demure now about her role in the winning strategy, but later claim to demur from the boss's views about it.

Related Words:

demurrer : Noun

demurral : Noun

demurrable : Adjective

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