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de·mean1 / diˈmēn/ • v. [tr.] [often as adj.] (demeaning) cause a severe loss in the dignity of and respect for (someone or something): the poster was not demeaning to women I had demeaned the profession. ∎  (demean oneself) do something that is beneath one's dignity. de·mean2 • v. (demean oneself) archaic conduct oneself in a particular way: no man demeaned himself so honorably.

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demean 1 †carry on, manage XIII; conduct oneself XIV. — (O)F. démener lead, exercise, practise, (refl.) behave :- Rom. *dēmināre, f. L. DE 3 + mināre drive (animals), orig. urge on with threats (L. minārī threaten).
Hence demeanour conduct, behaviour. XV.

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demean 2 lower, humble. XVII. f. DE- 4 + MEAN 2.