dig·​ni·​ty | \ ˈdig-nə-tē How to pronounce dignity (audio) \
plural dignities

Definition of dignity

1 : formal reserve or seriousness of manner, appearance, or language
2 : the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed
3a : high rank, office, or position
b : a legal title of nobility or honor
4 archaic : dignitary

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Not even some dignity over how to close out what had been a good season. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: Overwhelmed, overpowered and over-rated — Miami embarrassed by North Carolina | Commentary," 12 Dec. 2020 These 29 groundbreakers have risen up against a world that has systematically denied them of power, dignity, money, safety, and even life. refinery29.com, "The 29 Canadian Game-Changers Who Got Us Through 2020," 7 Dec. 2020 So my advice to non-Black residents during this curfew period is to treat their Black neighbors with dignity, not skepticism. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "This curfew could be danger for Black people in the Bay Area," 2 Dec. 2020 This card is about dignity, respect and fair treatment in your workplace. Connor Sheets | Csheets@al.com, al, "Bessemer Amazon warehouse workers take official step toward unionizing," 24 Nov. 2020 Ahead to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect. Los Angeles Times, "Joe Biden’s victory speech: Read the full transcript," 7 Nov. 2020 The United States will continue to pressure Iran to treat its own people with dignity and respect. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "US announces visa restrictions for more than a dozen Iranians over 1990 assassination," 21 Aug. 2020 The Minneapolis Police Department has time and time again failed to protect Black people and to treat us with dignity and respect. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: 'Who will be left to protect the city?' Plus: 'Child soldiers,' Seventh Congressional District, citizenship test, the Biden transition," 21 Nov. 2020 Ahead to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect. USA TODAY, "Read the transcript of what Joe Biden said in his first speech as president-elect," 8 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of dignity

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for dignity

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

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Time Traveler for dignity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dignity

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dignity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dignity. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for dignity


How to pronounce dignity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dignity

: a way of appearing or behaving that suggests seriousness and self-control
: the quality of being worthy of honor or respect


dig·​ni·​ty | \ ˈdig-nə-tē How to pronounce dignity (audio) \
plural dignities

Kids Definition of dignity

1 : the quality or state of being worthy of honor and respect He believes in the dignity of all people.
2 : a serious and admirable look or way of behaving

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Comments on dignity

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