dig·​ni·​tary | \ ˈdig-nə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce dignitary (audio) , -ˌte-rē\
plural dignitaries

Definition of dignitary

: one who possesses exalted rank or holds a position of dignity or honor

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Other Words from dignitary

dignitary adjective

Examples of dignitary in a Sentence

The dinner was attended by many foreign dignitaries.

Recent Examples on the Web

Sirens wail as shiny black limousines whisk visiting dignitaries to their meetings. The Economist, "Twenty years after its vote for independence, Timor-Leste looks back," 1 Sep. 2019 Among those at the ceremony were dignitaries including Vlodymyr Zelensky, the first Jewish president elected in Ukraine. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, "Netanyahu wades into the debate on Ukraine’s Holocaust record in commemoration speech," 20 Aug. 2019 At the tip of Shelter Island, several hundred dignitaries and well-wishers applauded when Sharon, dressed in pink and looking very dainty, hauled down the mainsail of her craft, furled it and docked with an ease no mail sailor could fault. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: In 1969 San Diego greeted woman who sailed Pacific Ocean alone," 25 July 2019 Yesterday, dignitaries attended a components handover ceremony at the construction site of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in southern France. Nathanial Gronewold, Scientific American, "World’s Largest Nuclear Fusion Experiment Clears Milestone," 24 July 2019 Her house is decorated with photographs of her with dignitaries from around the world. Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, The New Yorker, "The Descendants of Slaves in Nigeria Fight for Equality," 11 July 2019 The latest twist came after the family heard from several sources that her remains were in the Vatican’s Teutonic Cemetery, where most of those buried are clerics and dignitaries from German-speaking countries. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Vatican Mystery Deepens as Tombs Prove Empty in Search for Missing Girl," 11 July 2019 In a recent meeting with visiting Western dignitaries, a senior Chinese official complained about Hong Kong’s tycoons. The Economist, "The turmoil in Hong Kong stems in part from its unaffordable housing," 22 Aug. 2019 The dignitaries at Shelter No. 4, among them former Air Force Secretary F. Whitten Peters and retired Gen. Ronald Fogleman, a former Air Force chief of staff, lauded his long-running support of the service as a civilian. Sig Christenson, ExpressNews.com, "Air Force’s activist veteran Ollie Crawford buried at Fort Sam," 5 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dignitary.' 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 dignitary

1603, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for dignitary

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for dignitary

The first known use of dignitary was in 1603

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More Definitions for dignitary



English Language Learners Definition of dignitary

: a person who has a high rank or an important position


dig·​ni·​tary | \ ˈdig-nə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce dignitary (audio) \
plural dignitaries

Kids Definition of dignitary

: a person of high position or honor The President met with dignitaries from other countries.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dignitary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dignitary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dignitary

Spanish Central: Translation of dignitary

Nglish: Translation of dignitary for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dignitary

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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