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

The key is to acknowledge people’s differences while still treating every individual with dignity and respect. SELF, "Trainers and Fitness Pros Can't Help People of Color While Remaining Silent About Racism," 1 Nov. 2018 Facial recognition has the potential to strip dignity, all behind the scenes, and all surreptitiously. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Facial recognition is becoming one of the 21st century’s biggest public space issues," 19 Oct. 2018 Of course, Markle handled the situation with the same dignity that has come to define her first year as one of the most popular members of the royal family. Dan Barna, Glamour, "Prince Harry Reportedly Had an Awkward Encounter With an Ex—and Meghan Markle Was There," 2 Oct. 2018 Somehow Chrissy, who gave birth to her second child in May, kept her composure and responded with perfect shade and dignity. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen Perfectly Handled an Emmys Body Shamer Who "Respectfully" Asked If She's Pregnant Again," 18 Sep. 2018 The inside sole, according to Vouge, is printed with the words strength, courage, loyalty, and dignity. Jihan Forbes, Allure, "LeBron James Teams Up With Harlem's Fashion Row on New Nike Sneakers, Inspired by Strong African-American Women," 5 Sep. 2018 Peter fought it to the end with strength, dignity and the resolve to survive. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 7/11," 11 July 2018 Forcing her to continue an unwanted pregnancy just in the hopes of finding a sponsor that has not been found in the past six weeks sacrifices J.D.’s constitutional liberty, autonomy, and personal dignity for no justifiable governmental reason. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Will Kill Roe," 11 July 2018 Even when chaos and privation seem implacable, the human drive for dignity and validation abides. Erika P. Rodriguez, Smithsonian, "Photo of the day," 27 June 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

28 Nov 2018

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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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