dig·​ni·​tary ˈdig-nə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce dignitary (audio)
plural dignitaries
: one who possesses exalted rank or holds a position of dignity or honor
dignitary adjective

Examples of dignitary in a Sentence

The dinner was attended by many foreign dignitaries.
Recent Examples on the Web The store quickly became a community hub in the growing city, drawing traveling dignitaries, engineers, scientists, men of finance and New York book editors as customers. Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan. 2024 December 29, 2023 at 7:00 a.m. EST Eleanor Traylor has a schedule that rivals those of most Washington dignitaries. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2023 Off the entryway is a double living room—one that has likely hosted international dignitaries and jetsetter socialites over the years—and the kitchen, outfitted with state-of-the-art Miele appliances. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 31 Jan. 2024 Several dignitaries attended the event, including Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader, Elias, Hyde, reliever Félix Bautista and former Orioles players Ubaldo Jiménez and Melvin Mora. Jacob Calvin Meyer, Baltimore Sun, 17 Jan. 2024 At the United Nations climate conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a parade of dignitaries invoked faith, science and economics in their calls for a rapid transition away from coal, oil and gas, and toward clean energy. David Gelles, New York Times, 1 Dec. 2023 Foreign dignitaries and members of the government were due to travel and so the palace needed to explain now why Charles would not be there. William Booth, Washington Post, 17 Jan. 2024 Princess Anne, sporting sunglasses, was received by dignitaries including the British High Commissioner to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mr. Andrew Patrick and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mr. Ali Sabry. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 10 Jan. 2024 During his distinguished military career, John protected civilians, his fellow service members and high-profile VIPs, including American presidents, first ladies and foreign dignitaries. Melissa Rudy, Fox News, 24 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dignitary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1603, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dignitary was in 1603

Dictionary Entries Near dignitary

Cite this Entry

“Dignitary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dignitary. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


dig·​ni·​tary ˈdig-nə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce dignitary (audio)
plural dignitaries
: a person of high position or honor
dignitaries of the church

More from Merriam-Webster on dignitary

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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