What does the word demesne mean?

Usage examples for demesne

  1. The stocky frame, the small red- rimmed eyes, the up- thrust, wiry hair belonged to his client of that far away trial, the man whom he had sent to a convict's cell and who now, by route of ball and stripe, had fled to the dismal demesne of habitual criminality! – The Long Lane's Turning by Hallie Erminie Rives