dig·​ni·​fy ˈdig-nə-ˌfī How to pronounce dignify (audio)
dignified; dignifying

transitive verb

: to give distinction to : ennoble
: to confer dignity upon
also : to give undue attention or status to
won't dignify that remark with a reply

Examples of dignify in a Sentence

She felt that formal clothing would help dignify the occasion. He said he wouldn't dignify his opponents' accusations by responding to them.
Recent Examples on the Web And Martin apparently isn’t going to dignify the situation with an answer. Christie D’zurilla, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023 Zelensky left the Security Council following his remarks to the world body, declining a faceoff with Lavrov, as neither official appeared interested in dignifying the other with his presence. John Hudson, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2023 Karloff glides through the film with his sage presence, dignifying the air around him. Hazlitt, 6 Sep. 2023 Wade brought her distress over the situation to her therapist, got off social media and refused to dignify the rumors. Jewly Hight, Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2023 So far, the bill dignifies vertebrates, decapod crustaceans (crabs and lobsters), and cephalopods (squids and octopuses), but not a single conscious bee. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2023 There’s something very dignifying in his fright and his emotions. Vulture, 24 May 2023 Well, that doesn’t dignify a response. BostonGlobe.com, 29 Mar. 2021 Didn't want to even dignify this with a response. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 9 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dignify.' 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 dignifien, from Middle French dignifier, from Late Latin dignificare, from Latin dignus worthy — more at decent

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near dignify

Cite this Entry

“Dignify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dignify. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


dig·​ni·​fy ˈdig-nə-ˌfī How to pronounce dignify (audio)
dignified; dignifying
: to give dignity or importance to : honor

More from Merriam-Webster on dignify

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