: deserved, appropriate
condign punishment
condignly adverb

Did you know?

In his 1755 Dictionary of the English Language, lexicographer Samuel Johnson noted that "condign" was "always used of something deserved by crimes." Even today, it is most likely to be used to modify "punishment" or a related word, such as "redress," "justice," or "chastisement." And yet, "condign" (which traces to Latin com-, meaning "thoroughly," and dignus, meaning "worthy") once meant "worthy" or "of equal worth or dignity" in English. How did such a word get chained to "punishment"? It was apparently so condemned in the 1500s by the phraseology of the Tudor Acts of Parliament: "Former statutes … for lacke of condigne punishment … be littell feared or regarded."

Examples of condign in a Sentence

a suspension without pay is condign punishment for breaking the company's code of business ethics
Recent Examples on the Web His sickness is condign affirmation of his manifold failures, arrogance and incompetence. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2020 That means reversal of Scruton’s ritual humiliation — and equally condign sanctions against the man who willfully deceived his readers and the public about Scruton’s views. Kyle Smith, National Review, 17 July 2019 Here’s the problem: There is no satisfying, condign punishment for boorish behavior like Ansari’s. Kyle Smith, National Review, 16 Jan. 2018 Journalism’s year of travails, stumbles, goofs, errors, retractions, suspensions, and firings is nemesis of the most vengeful, condign sort. Varad Mehta, National Review, 15 Dec. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'condign.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English condigne, from Anglo-French, from Latin condignus, from com- + dignus worthy — more at decent

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of condign was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near condign

Cite this Entry

“Condign.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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