deigned; deigning; deigns

intransitive verb

: to condescend reluctantly and with a strong sense of the affront to one's superiority that is involved : stoop
would not even deign to talk to him
One iconoclastic architect, for example, doesn't deign to speak of bathrooms.Carol Vogel

transitive verb

: to condescend to give or offer
never so much as deigning a glanceGeorge Meredith

Examples of deign in a Sentence

I wouldn't deign to answer that absurd accusation.
Recent Examples on the Web Only the unflappable and bulletproof Robert Downey Jr. deigned to mention the changes to the makeup of the people who voted on the awards. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 8 Jan. 2024 Magnifico squirrels away the wishes in his castle, only deigning to grant one occasionally., 17 Nov. 2023 In Britain, unfortunately, nobody has deigned to do so. Rory Smith, New York Times, 5 Jan. 2024 Later around 2019, the two companies finally deigned to be on the same device—but never active at the same time. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 31 Aug. 2023 Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce have deigned to give us proof of their budding relationship: The couple was seen strolling, hand-in-hand, a couple of times in NYC over the weekend. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2023 The film is narrated in the unmistakable tones of Margaret Thatcher (Stella Gonet), who deigns to make a guest appearance in the later stages. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 15 Sep. 2023 Case in point: Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who has spent much of the past week trying to resuscitate his flagging campaign with a bus tour through Iowa, while also finally deigning to speak to the national press. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 7 Aug. 2023 Amal Clooney, the human rights lawyer who deigns to share her life with the star of the Batman movie everyone hates, stepped out for date night in Italy in a white ankle-length dress a mere mortal might have worn down the aisle. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 17 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deign.' 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, from Anglo-French deigner, from Latin dignare, dignari, from dignus worthy — more at decent

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of deign was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near deign

Cite this Entry

“Deign.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to think proper to one's dignity
did not deign to reply to the rude remark

More from Merriam-Webster on deign

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