- Reserved, modest
- affectedly modest, reserved, or serious: coy.
(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 5 August 2020)
Use it in a sentence
True, it was an odd word to use for a man, but he could only be described as demure. You might have said he was modest – a straightforward chin, hands comfortably clasped in front of him, an easy smile. Self-possessed, that might do as well.
But there was no way of getting around the fact that everything in the strip joint was sexualised. So the bouncer, in his slim fit suit and clean shaven face, could only be demure in the way of coy women. He never showed an ounce of flesh more than was required – a wrist here, a smooth neck there, when it was too hot for a tie and his boss told him to loosen up. He never touched the girls, but he protected them fiercely, like an older brother. He spoke quietly, placed a gentle hand on the girls’ elbows and air-kissed their cheeks in a very French way.
So it was rather a shock when everyone learned about his depravities. No one asked him anything directly, but the word ran riot through the club and the girls raised their eyebrows and the patrons guffawed loudly. He came to learn of his partner’s indiscretions and while he was peeved, nothing came of it and he didn’t make any sort of fuss. Of course, he quietly dropped the partner, but nobody got hurt. It’s not as though anyone was fussed by his proclivities – goodness knows, it was difficult to be shocked by anything at the club – but it was just that demure demeanour of his that made everyone wonder what else he was capable of and what else he might be hiding.