demur

If your mother asks you to clean your room and you refuse, you demur. And if your friend invites you to the Death Metal Forever concert but you hesitate, you demur. Whether you object, politely disagree, or hesitate, you demur.

If Aunt Tilly offers to knit you a sweater, you might politely demur, being reluctant to accept. When she describes the bunnies she plans for the sweater, you would want to strongly demur, explaining that you are moving to Texas next week and will no longer need sweaters. And if you find yourself the defendant in a civil suit, you might file a demurrer, objecting to the plaintiff’s complaint. When you file that demurrer, you also demur.

Definitions of demur
  1. verb
    take exception to
    “he demurred at my suggestion to work on Saturday”
    synonyms: except
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    type of:
    object
    express or raise an objection or protest or criticism or express dissent
  2. noun
    (law) a formal objection to an opponent's pleadings
    synonyms: demurral, demurrer
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    type of:
    objection
    the speech act of objecting
  3. verb
    enter a demurrer
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    type of:
    plead
    make an allegation in an action or other legal proceeding, especially answer the previous pleading of the other party by denying facts therein stated or by alleging new facts
Commonly confused words

demur / demure

To demur is to show reluctance or to hesitate, like not quite getting in the car when someone opens the door, but demure isalways an adjective describing a modest, reserved, or shy person, and sounds like the mew of a tiny kitten.

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