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

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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 school’s founders wanted to dignify manual labor, which was associated with slavery. Liz Logan, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Kentucky College Has Been Making Brooms for 100 Years," 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, "The NBA Had It Coming," 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, "There Was No One Like Irrfan Khan," 30 Apr. 2020 His obliteration of the impeachment drama by not even dignifying it with a mention made Pelosi mad. #PelosiTantrum and #NancytheRipper were top trending topics on Twitter. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Trump Wins Again," 5 Feb. 2020 Advisers were encouraging Trump to not dignify Romney's vote with a response, and there were no immediate plans to campaign against Romney. Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, "Romney knew the storm was coming over his vote. How long it lasts will be up to Trump.," 6 Feb. 2020 And David, once dignified with the Turkish honorific effendi, would die in Auschwitz with much of his family in 1943. The Economist, "Writing wrongs An intimate chronicle of Sephardic Jewish history," 2 Jan. 2020 The inequality between the men — Rick lives in a spacious ranch house up in the hills, Cliff in a cluttered trailer down in the valley — is what dignifies their bond, just as the contrast of their temperaments sustain it. New York Times, "‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ Review: We Lost It at the Movies," 24 July 2019 Then there’s the randomness of life: how a ton of bad stuff happens to some of us, even the nicest and most innocent of us, while some blithely skate on to as dignified a death as a death ever can be. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ at Victory Gardens is about an advice columnist — and might just solve your problems," 15 Sep. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for dignify

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Dignify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dignify. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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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

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