dignity

noun
dig·​ni·​ty | \ ˈdig-nə-tē \
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

Following her loss, the tennis star spoke with dignity about the incident, but insisted that the harsh penalty came with ulterior motives. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Women's Tennis Association Backs Serena Williams Over That Sexist U.S. Open Penalty," 10 Sep. 2018 As those who’ve been paying attention have come to expect, Foster’s performance is freighted with a tense, explosive dignity; Will is a good man undone by demons and his tragedy is his country’s. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "In ‘Leave No Trace,’ a father and daughter who break your heart," 27 June 2018 Non-professional Cardona, a performer with natural dignity and an ability to project concern, does fine work as Jose, and filmmaker McKay expertly conveys the sense of a polyglot neighborhood where multi-culturalism is lived, not theorized about. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "'En el Séptimo Día' (On the Seventh Day) shines a light on the everyday lives of Mexican immigrants," 14 June 2018 Even handling the issue with dignity and thoughtfulness will not come close to satisfying everyone out there. Mike Jensen, Philly.com, "Will Villanova men's basketball go to the White House? | Mike Jensen," 5 June 2018 The short stories had over time come unbuttoned, the novels proceeding with the sham dignity and slow gait of drunks trying to pass for sober, while the children alternated between hoping desperately to be seen and trying to keep out of the way. Michael Chabon, GQ, "Michael Chabon: Are Kids the Enemy of Writing?," 27 Apr. 2018 The Dutch built environment treats people who ride bikes normally, everyday fietsen, with respect and dignity and gives them a wholly separate space to cycle. David Roberts, Vox, "No helmets, no problem: how the Dutch created a casual biking culture," 28 Aug. 2018 The unwritten agreement was that the dead would be treated with dignity and that families would not ask if there was an alternative to the $1,000 or $2,000 coffin, or whether embalming was really needed. The Economist, "Why undertakers are worried," 12 Apr. 2018 As a general rule, Americans want dignity and statesmanship from their past presidents. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Donald Trump may be best thing that ever happened to George W. Bush," 13 May 2018

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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Statistics for dignity

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for dignity

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

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More Definitions for dignity

dignity

noun

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

dignity

noun
dig·​ni·​ty | \ ˈdig-nə-tē \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on dignity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dignity

Spanish Central: Translation of dignity

Nglish: Translation of dignity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dignity for Arabic Speakers

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