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Demeanour vs. Demeanor — What's the Difference?

By Fiza Rafique & Urooj Arif — Updated on April 8, 2024
Demeanour (BrE) refers to a person's outward behavior or bearing, while Demeanor (AmE) is the American spelling, with no difference in meaning.
Demeanour vs. Demeanor — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Demeanour and Demeanor


Key Differences

Demeanour, as used in British English, signifies the outward physical manifestation of a person's character or mood, particularly as it affects others. On the other hand, Demeanor is the American English spelling of the same term, reflecting identical meanings and usage in contexts involving someone's conduct or appearance.
While demeanour is commonly found in British English texts, encompassing literature, official documents, and day-to-day communication, Demeanor is prevalent in American English, adhering to the linguistic norms of the United States in books, media, and conversations.
Demeanour is often associated with the traditional British English spelling conventions that include extra vowels in certain words (e.g., colour, honour), whereas Demeanor follows the American English convention of simplifying spelling by omitting unnecessary letters.
The pronunciation of demeanour and demeanor may slightly vary between British and American English speakers due to accent differences, but the distinction is minimal, and both terms are easily understood across English-speaking regions.
In educational settings, British schools and universities teach the spelling and usage of demeanour in accordance with UK English standards, while American educational institutions teach demeanor, reinforcing the spelling and usage norms of American English.

Comparison Chart




Preferred in British English contexts
Preferred in American English contexts

Language Norms

Follows British English spelling conventions
Follows American English spelling conventions

Educational Standards

Taught in UK schools and universities
Taught in US schools and universities


Slight variations in British accents
Slight variations in American accents

Compare with Definitions


A person's appearance and behavior.
Her professional demeanour impressed the interviewers.


The outward physical behavior or bearing of a person.
His friendly demeanor made him approachable.


The outward behavior or bearing of a person.
His calm demeanour was reassuring.


The external manifestation of one's character.
His calm demeanor helped diffuse the tense situation.


The way a person seems to others.
He maintained a dignified demeanour throughout the trial.


A person’s visible conduct or manner.
Her demeanor changed dramatically under stress.


The visible aspect of one's character.
Her cheerful demeanour brightened the room.


A person's outward appearance and behavior.
His professional demeanor was noted by everyone.


A person’s conduct or manner.
Despite the pressure, her demeanour remained composed.


The way a person appears to others.
She carried herself with a confident demeanor.


Alternative spelling of demeanor


The way in which a person behaves; deportment.


(behavioral attributes) the way a person behaves toward other people


(American spelling) The social, non-verbal behaviours (such as body language and facial expressions) that are characteristic of a person.
The man's demeanor made others suspicious of his intentions.
A confident demeanor is crucial for persuading others.


Management; treatment; conduct.
God commits the managing so great a trust . . . wholly to the demeanor of every grown man.


Behavior; deportment; carriage; bearing; mien.
His demeanor was singularly pleasing.
The men, as usual, liked her artless kindness and simple refined demeanor.


(behavioral attributes) the way a person behaves toward other people

Common Curiosities

Are demeanour and demeanor the same?

Yes, demeanour and demeanor have the same meaning, differing only in spelling according to British and American English conventions.

Can demeanour and demeanor be used interchangeably?

In the context of international English, they can be understood interchangeably, but it's best to use the spelling consistent with your version of English.

What is demeanour?

Demeanour refers to a person's external behavior, appearance, or manner, particularly as it affects others.

Can demeanour/demeanor indicate someone's mood?

Yes, both terms can reflect someone's mood as perceived by others through their outward behavior.

Which spelling is correct, demeanour or demeanor?

Both spellings are correct, depending on whether British or American English is being used.

How can demeanour/demeanor be used in a sentence?

"Demeanour" or "demeanor" can be used to describe the apparent character or behavior of a person in a specific situation.

What is demeanor?

Demeanor is the American English spelling of demeanour, indicating the outward behavior or appearance of a person.

How should I spell demeanour/demeanor in academic writing?

Use the spelling that conforms to the English variant you are using or that is required by your institution.

What part of speech is demeanour/demeanor?

Both terms are nouns.

Why are there two spellings for demeanour/demeanor?

The two spellings exist due to differences in British and American English spelling conventions.

Is it important to know the difference between demeanour and demeanor?

While the spelling difference is minor, understanding it can help in ensuring correct usage in different English-language contexts.

Is the pronunciation of demeanour and demeanor different?

The pronunciation can vary slightly between British and American English, but the difference is minimal.

Is demeanor just an American term?

Demeanor is not exclusively American in meaning, but its spelling is specific to American English.

Why does British English include the extra 'u' in demeanour?

The inclusion of the extra 'u' in words like demeanour is part of the traditional spelling conventions of British English.

Does the spelling of demeanour/demeanor affect its meaning?

No, the meaning of the term does not change with the spelling.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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