a. A class of women supported by wealthy lovers and considered to be promiscuous or otherwise unrespectable.
b. Women prostitutes considered as a group.
2. A group whose respectability is dubious: the literary demimonde of ghostwriters, hacks, and publicists. Also called demiworld.
[French demi-monde : demi-, demi- + monde, world (from Latin mundus).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.