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

The Democratic governor was in Albany but didn’t join other dignitaries for the opening of either the Assembly or Senate session. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "After Historic Swearing-In, New York Senate Majority Leader Lays Out Progressive Plan," 9 Jan. 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue, and Lafayette Park, had been cleared of pedestrians, who usually congregate in front of the White House for pictures or protests, as is custom when foreign leaders or other dignitaries are staying at Blair House. David Nakamura, The Seattle Times, "Trump uses eight-vehicle motorcade to travel 250 yards to greet George W. Bush," 4 Dec. 2018 Salmon and other dignitaries rode a bus from the middle school to the high school, when Monday’s celebration was held. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Fallston Middle School celebrates Maryland Blue Ribbon honor," 4 June 2018 Armstrong and Tom Murray, who spent much of his career flying politicians and dignitaries, were both members of the Quiet Birdmen, a secretive club of male pilots, Cicco said. Kristine Phillips, ajc, "Neil Armstrong gave her a vial of moon dust, she says. She's suing so NASA won't take it.," 12 June 2018 Former presidents and dignitaries from across the political spectrum remembered Barbara Bush on Tuesday as a tough, witty first lady fiercely dedicated to her family. Michael Finnegan, latimes.com, "Trump, Obama and other dignitaries pay tribute to Barbara Bush," 18 Apr. 2018 Since the Khashoggi killing, the king has assumed a more active public role, meeting foreign dignitaries without his son at his side. Karen Elliott House, WSJ, "Where Is Crown Prince Mohammed?," 11 Feb. 2019 Foreign dignitaries and others looking to curry favor with the president appear to have taken a keen interest in spending money at his hotels as well. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Ivanka Trump reportedly advocated for a tax break she and Jared Kushner could profit from," 12 Dec. 2018 The queen reportedly wore the jewelry on Thursday, the day President Trump arrived in England, while receiving other dignitaries at Windsor Castle, the Daily News reported. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Queen Elizabeth II wore brooch Obamas gifted her on day Trump arrived in the UK: report," 19 July 2018

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

17 Apr 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

What made you want to look up dignitary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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