All Words > Demur

Saturday, March 21

Demur

[də-mər]

Part of speech: verb

Origin: Latin, 12th century

1.

Raise doubts or objections or show reluctance.

2.

(Law) Put forward a demurrer.

Examples of Demur in a sentence

"This is an open forum — please demur if you don't agree."

"If you don't agree with the charge, your lawyer can demur."

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About Demur

As with many words that are rooted in Latin, there was a progression through other languages to get to English. In Latin, “de-” means away or completely, and “morari” means delay. Then it moved into Old French as demourer (verb) and demeure (noun). As it moved from French into Middle English, demur was to delay, but it’s also an objection. Maybe even an objection at a delay.

Did you Know?

To demur means you are objecting, doubting, or showing your reluctance. The verb is also used in a legal sense to file a demurrer, or objection. But if you DON’T have any qualms, you might use demur as a noun. Demur is almost always used in the negative as a noun: “I agreed to his compromise without demur.”

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