dig·​ni·​fy | \ˈdig-nə-ˌfī \
dignified; dignifying

Definition of dignify 

transitive verb

1 : to give distinction to : ennoble

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The program seeks to dignify the critical role of teachers in a democratic society by promoting professional preparation that is rich in the arts, humanities and ethnic studies. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "What happens to teaching and learning if educators holster 9mm Glocks on their waistband?," 22 Feb. 2018 The president is incredibly smart, not dignify this dinner with his presence. Fox News, "Conway on Iran deal, White House Correspondents' Dinner," 1 May 2018 Daddy Bill’s life pointed me to the Jesus who not only notices these precious people, but stops everything in order to move towards them, serve them and dignify them. Boz Tchividjian, Washington Post, "My grandfather Billy Graham was my hero," 21 Feb. 2018 But at a time when too many filmmakers still mistake message-mongering for art, a picture that quietly dignifies the medium is more than sufficient for me. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "A Christian critic wrestles with new biblical films and the hope of a better 'faith-based' cinema," 30 Mar. 2018 The story doesn't deserve to be dignified by being broadcast and displayed. Fox News, "Hannity: CNN's creepy new obsession," 26 Mar. 2018 The clothes are formal, dignified, structured, rule-bound, but also nuanced. Robin Givhan, chicagotribune.com, "When it comes to movie costumes, the Academy has always favored fantasy," 4 Mar. 2018 Yet the politicians who dignify it with specious arguments are making fools of themselves and harming America. The Economist, "LexingtonA lesson in American greatness," 1 Mar. 2018 All of them want Poly to honor and dignify their suffering. Eric Lewis, Esquire, "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil," 17 Nov. 2016

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

See More

First Known Use of dignify

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dignify

Middle English dignifien, from Middle French dignifier, from Late Latin dignificare, from Latin dignus worthy — more at decent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dignify

Statistics for dignify

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dignify

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dignify


dig·​ni·​fy | \ˈdig-nə-ˌfī \
dignified; dignifying

Kids Definition of dignify

1 : to give dignity or importance to She felt formal clothes would dignify the occasion.

2 : to treat with respect or seriousness that is not deserved … our cay was so small that the charts wouldn't even dignify it with a name.— Theodore Taylor, The Cay

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on dignify

What made you want to look up dignify? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!