also demimonde, "women of equivocal reputation and standing in society," 1855, from French demi-monde "so-so society," literally "half-world," from demi- "half" + monde, from Latin mundus "world" (see mundane).
Popularized by its use as title of a comedy by Alexandre Dumas fils (1824-1895). Dumas' Demi-Monde "is the link between good and bad society ... the world of compromised women, a social limbo, the inmates of which ... are perpetually struggling to emerge into the paradise of honest and respectable ladies" ["Fraser's Magazine," 1855]. Thus not properly used of courtesans, etc.
Compare 18th-century English demi-rep (1749, the second element short for reputation), defined as "a woman that intrigues with every man she likes, under the name and appearance of virtue ... in short, whom every body knows to be what no body calls her" [Fielding].
1815, "free from local, provincial, or national prejudices and attachments," from cosmopolite "citizen of the world" (q.v.) on model of metropolitan. From 1833 as "belonging to all parts of the world, limited to no place or society." Meaning "composed of people of all nations, multi-ethnic" is from 1840. The U.S. women's magazine of the same name was first published in 1886.
As a noun, "one who is at home all over the world, a cosmopolite," 1640s. As the name of a vodka-based cocktail popular in 1990s (due to "Sex and the City" TV program) from late 1980s (the drink itself seems to date to the 1970s).
Cosmopolitanism in reference to an ideology that considers all humans as a single community is recorded by 1828. It took on a negative tinge in mid-20c., suggesting an undermining of indigenous and national societies and often tied to the supposed influence of the Jews.