dig·​ni·​ty ˈdig-nə-tē How to pronounce dignity (audio)
plural dignities
: formal reserve or seriousness of manner, appearance, or language
: the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed
: high rank, office, or position
: a legal title of nobility or honor
archaic : dignitary

Examples of dignity in a Sentence

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
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
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
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
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
She showed dignity in defeat. The ceremony was conducted with great dignity. Theirs is a country that cherishes freedom and human dignity. See More
Recent Examples on the Web There, the union representing personal care attendants and the Healey administration agreed on the terms of a new contract that will, once ratified, bring dignity and better pay to people whose essential work is too often invisible. Globe Columnist, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Sep. 2023 Ed was a businessman of dignity, class and professionalism who ran a first-class operation and whose mentorship and tutelage fueled my career from its nascent stages through the ensuing decades. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, 15 Sep. 2023 Americans should be able to retire with dignity in their 60s. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, 10 Sep. 2023 Shot in three countries over nine weeks in late 2022, the film shows the horror of the time with dignity and doesn’t use the disturbing and the re-creation of the heartbreaking pictures, for shock value. Clayton Davis, Variety, 9 Sep. 2023 Both films are wonders at taking premises and characters that would often be treated derisively and giving them a dignity that turns them into something totally fresh. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2023 Williams pitched five innings, while weathering a 66-minute rain delay, as the Guardians beat the Twins, 2-1, to prevent a three-game sweep and restore some dignity to this season of twists and turns. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 6 Sep. 2023 From your perspective, what would a response to this violence look like, that honors the dignity and value of Black lives? Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Sep. 2023 We have been told, directly and indirectly, that making the choice to act professionally forfeited our rights to a life with dignity, that even wanting to act indicated something undignified in our characters. Genevieve Angelson, Town & Country, 31 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of dignity was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near dignity

Cite this Entry

“Dignity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dignity. Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


dig·​ni·​ty ˈdig-nət-ē How to pronounce dignity (audio)
plural dignities
: the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or respected
: high rank, office, or position
: a look or way of behaving that suggests seriousness and self-control

More from Merriam-Webster on dignity

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