\ ˈdān How to pronounce deign (audio) \
deigned; deigning; deigns

Definition of deign

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 glance— George Meredith

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Synonyms for deign


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Examples of deign in a Sentence

I wouldn't deign to answer that absurd accusation.
Recent Examples on the Web The new responsum, in effect, leaves L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics in limbo, trying to make sense of a Church that will not deign to bless their lives. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, "The Vatican’s Giant Step Backward on Same-Sex Unions," 23 Mar. 2021 CBS Sports, the broadcast and business partner of the NCAA, promotes its interactive men’s backet but won’t even deign to offer an interactive women’s bracket. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Treat NCAA women same as men or change 'March Madness' to 'Spring Sexism'," 21 Mar. 2021 Some alumni of prestigious schools won’t deign to wear their own school’s gear, anyway. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Family contacts with abusive ex continue to hurt," 18 Jan. 2021 The Supreme Court didn’t even deign to hear his legal arguments about voter fraud. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "The Next Big Challenge: Trump-Proofing the Presidency," 29 Dec. 2020 His Levee is a mercurial trumpeter, one of four men waiting for Rainey to deign to arrive at a Chicago studio where they're supposed to make a record. Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune, "Chadwick Boseman's last performance, in an August Wilson adaptation, is his best," 17 Dec. 2020 Brown, like Coons, did not deign to mention who was saying these things. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Why Are Democrats Shielding Republican Liars?," 10 Nov. 2020 When the latter did deign to show Arsenal again, its commentators refused to say Özil’s name. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "The Erasure of Mesut Özil," 23 Oct. 2020 Yesterday, in an unsigned order that did not deign to explain itself, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to halt the Census. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Supreme Court Justices Are Politicians, Too," 14 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deign.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deign

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for deign

Middle English, from Anglo-French deigner, from Latin dignare, dignari, from dignus worthy — more at decent

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Time Traveler for deign

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for deign

Last Updated

30 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deign.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for deign



English Language Learners Definition of deign

formal + disapproving : to do something that you think you should not have to do because you are too important


\ ˈdān How to pronounce deign (audio) \
deigned; deigning

Kids Definition of deign

: to do something a person considers below his or her dignity The teenager deigned to play with his little cousin.

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