Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A class of women kept by wealthy lovers or protectors.
  • n. Women prostitutes considered as a group.
  • n. A group whose respectability is dubious or whose success is marginal: the literary demimonde of ghost writers, hacks, and publicists. Also called demiworld.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A class of women kept by wealthy protectors; female prostitutes as a group
  • n. A group having little respect or reputation

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Persons of doubtful reputation; esp., women who are kept as mistresses, though not public prostitutes; demireps.
  • n. See Demimonde.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A term introduced by Alexandre Dumas the younger to denote (as defined by himself) that class of women who occupy an equivocal position between women of good reputation and social standing on the one hand and courtezans on the other; women of equivocal reputation and standing in society.
  • n. Commonly, but less correctly, courtezans in general.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a class of woman not considered respectable because of indiscreet or promiscuous behavior

Etymologies

French demi-monde : demi-, demi- + monde, world (from Latin mundus).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French demi half + monde world (Wiktionary)

Examples

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