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.
Recent Examples on the Web The exhibit of more than 160 works of art exudes dignity in its timeless celebration of Black life. Ken Makin, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 May 2024 The organization’s plan is to provide long-term shelter space for eight people taking part in its Fresh Tracks program, a faith-centric program dedicated to restoring participants’ dignity and self-sufficiency. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, 7 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for dignity 

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 24 May. 2024.

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

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!