Old English deman "to judge, decide on consideration, condemn;, think, judge, hold as an opinion," from Proto-Germanic *domjanan(source also of Old Frisian dema"to judge," Old Saxon adomian, Middle Dutch doemen, Old Norse dma, Old High German tuomen, Gothic domjan "to deem, judge"), denominative of *domaz, from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put" (compare doom). Related: Deemed; deeming. Originally "to pronounce judgment" as well as "to form an opinion." Compare Old English, Middle English deemer "a judge." The two judges of the Isle of Man were called deemsters in 17c., a title formerly common throughout England and Scotland and preserved in the surname Dempster.
updated on November 18, 2018