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 Warren Buffett was their cosmic dignitary, and a 4 percent yearly gain on their investments a prudent retirement plan. Anonymous, The New Republic, "I Bought Tens of Thousands of Dollars of GameStop Stock. And I Have No Regrets.," 1 Feb. 2021 But ultimately, the security protocols broke down and he was treated as almost a visiting dignitary. CBS News, "Former senior CIA officer recalls killing of service members by suicide bomber," 30 Dec. 2020 Gogol’s father, a small landowner who wrote bad comedies and worked as a sort of court jester for a wealthy dignitary, died when Gogol was sixteen. Gary Saul Morson, The New York Review of Books, "An Incandescent Inanity," 3 Nov. 2020 Extending an invitation to a visiting dignitary is not, in itself, unusual. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "China’s diplomatic visit to The Netherlands won’t be as drama-free as it hoped," 25 Aug. 2020 The agenda never varies: Speakers, dignitaries, hymns and prayers. oregonlive, "During a time of loss, fear and uncertainty, a very different Memorial Day is planned at Willamette National Cemetery," 24 May 2020 Having served world leaders and dignitaries, the Perinis have shared mouth-watering meals of steak, jalapeño bites, and fried catfish with people far and wide. Tanner Saunders, Travel + Leisure, "One of the Best Steakhouses in Texas Is Shipping Mouthwatering Meat Around the Country," 30 Apr. 2020 Since its founding in 1962, Esalen has drawn a wide range of dignitaries, celebrities and soul-searchers eager for fresh perspectives on subjects ranging from the metaphysical to the utterly practical. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Esalen Institute, a Big Sur icon, faces existential question during coronavirus crisis," 19 Apr. 2020 Modi, meanwhile, no longer has to play host to a foreign dignitary, giving him and his BJP party more room to crack down. Ian Bremmer, Time, "What Happens Next with the Violence Tearing Apart India," 29 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for dignitary

Time Traveler

The first known use of dignitary was in 1603

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Statistics for dignitary

Last Updated

8 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dignitary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dignitary. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on dignitary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dignitary

Nglish: Translation of dignitary for Spanish Speakers

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