dignity

noun

dig·​ni·​ty ˈdig-nə-tē How to pronounce dignity (audio)
plural dignities
1
: formal reserve or seriousness of manner, appearance, or language
2
: the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed
3
a
: high rank, office, or position
b
: a legal title of nobility or honor
4
archaic : dignitary

Example Sentences

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 Human dignity and the future of the planet must come before profits. Abigail Disney, CNN, 29 Nov. 2022 In the end, these two books show how the quest for human dignity is about the freedom to choose one’s own way or style of life, as well as to survive and thrive. W. Ralph Eubanks, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2022 So there’s 14 principles, like privacy, human dignity, transparency, and so on. Time, 13 Nov. 2022 The allegations against the company include submitting workers to conditions incompatible with human dignity. Harold Maass, The Week, 10 Nov. 2022 Will Ferrell’s signature comedy style is halfway between obnoxious and endearing, a naïve man-child whose excitable energy is matched by his fearless disregard for dignity. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Nov. 2022 But choice, Raines said, is a form of empowerment essential to human dignity. Angela Yang, NBC News, 21 Oct. 2022 America aimed at liberty, human dignity and democracy. Hartford Courant, 3 July 2022 But that success has come at great cost—to human dignity and to the human spirit. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 14 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

dignity

noun

dig·​ni·​ty ˈdig-nət-ē How to pronounce dignity (audio)
plural dignities
1
: the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or respected
2
: high rank, office, or position
3
: a look or way of behaving that suggests seriousness and self-control

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