dig·​ni·​fy | \ ˈdig-nə-ˌfī How to pronounce dignify (audio) \
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

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 Who wanted to dignify such dumb scenarios with sober analyses? Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, 3 Jan. 2022 Slaughter was always searching in those days for ways to dignify the title and elevate the women who won it. Amy Argetsinger, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Dec. 2021 After some initial reluctance to dignify such allegations by addressing them publicly, Hillary Clinton agrees to appear on 60 Minutes after the Super Bowl, an appearance that revitalizes her husband’s campaign but earns her notably mixed reviews. Scott Tobias, Vulture, 2 Nov. 2021 Biden is a traditional politician who actively talks up bipartisanship and has promised to both re-dignify Washington and bring the country together. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, 20 Sep. 2021 On Saturday, Cooper will be memorialized with a marker and ceremony to dignify his memory near the Towson jail where he was imprisoned. Taylor Deville, baltimoresun.com, 7 May 2021 The school’s founders wanted to dignify manual labor, which was associated with slavery. Liz Logan, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Oct. 2020 So much so that when President Donald Trump inevitably complained about players kneeling for the national anthem, barely anyone inside the bubble was willing to dignify it with much of a response. Michael Weinreb, The Atlantic, 27 Aug. 2020 These movies didn’t deserve him, but Khan dignified them with his presence, refusing to sink with the flimsy material he was given. Mayukh Sen, The Atlantic, 30 Apr. 2020

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

Learn More About dignify

Time Traveler for dignify

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near dignify




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for dignify

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dignify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dignify. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for dignify


dig·​ni·​fy | \ ˈdig-nə-ˌfī How to pronounce dignify (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on dignify

Nglish: Translation of dignify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dignify for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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