dignity

play
noun dig·ni·ty \ˈdig-nə-tē\

Definition of dignity

plural

dignities

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed

  2. 2a :  high rank, office, or positionb :  a legal title of nobility or honor

  3. 3 archaic :  dignitary

  4. 4 :  formal reserve or seriousness of manner, appearance, or language

Examples of dignity in a Sentence

  1. Jenny Daggers links feminist critiques and interreligious dialogue, arguing that our failure to treat people of other traditions with dignity matches in deed and rhetoric our inability to see that women are full and equal members of the community. —Francis X. Clooney, Commonweal, 11 Sept. 2009

  2. When King spoke about the racist past, he gloried in black people beating the odds to win equal rights by arming “ourselves with dignity and self-respect.” —Juan Williams, Wall Street Journal, 4 Apr. 2008

  3. The period just after the Revolutionary War (1780-1820) was a time to project hard-won dignity, not show off. Federal interiors featured muted wall colors … and delicately carved or inlaid decoration. —Kelly Beamon, This Old House, March 2008

  4. Roger was beaming. His creased fat face literally shone with pleasure, which, for the sake of dignity, he struggled to contain. —Alice Adams, The Story and Its Writer, 1987

  5. Every speaker tries to create a love affair with his or her audience. But when the phenomenon called Maya Angelou takes the lectern at Pensacola (Florida) Junior College, she does not so much speak to the audience as “embrace” it. She sings, reads verse, thunders oratorically, even dances. Standing a majestic six feet tall and gifted with a resonant voice and … dignity, she is a poet, preacher, performer extraordinaire. —Cheryl McCall, People, 8 Mar. 1982

  6. She showed dignity in defeat.

  7. The ceremony was conducted with great dignity.

  8. Theirs is a country that cherishes freedom and human dignity.

Recent Examples of dignity from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dignity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of dignity

Middle English dignete, from Anglo-French digneté, from Latin dignitat-, dignitas, from dignus

Other Foreign Functionary Terms



DIGNITY Defined for English Language Learners

dignity

play
noun

Definition of dignity for English Language Learners

  • : a way of appearing or behaving that suggests seriousness and self-control

  • : the quality of being worthy of honor or respect


DIGNITY Defined for Kids

dignity

play
noun dig·ni·ty \ˈdig-nə-tē\

Definition of dignity for Students

plural

dignities

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of being worthy of honor and respect He believes in the dignity of all people.

  2. 2 :  a serious and admirable look or way of behaving



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to relieve or lessen

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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