ignominious

adjective ig·no·min·i·ous \ ˌig-nə-ˈmi-nē-əs \
Updated on: 1 Dec 2017

Definition of ignominious

1 : marked with or characterized by disgrace or shame : dishonorable
2 : deserving of shame or infamy : despicable
3 : humiliating, degrading
  • an ignominious defeat

ignominiously

adverb

ignominiousness

noun

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Examples of ignominious in a Sentence

  1. some of his friends considered the job of janitor to be an ignominious fate for the laid-off executive

  2. the prison guards degraded themselves with their inhumane, ignominious treatment of the prisoners

Recent Examples of ignominious from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ignominious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The "-nom-" of "ignominious" comes from "nomen," the Latin word for "name" or "repute." (It's also the root of "misnomer," "nomenclature," and "nominal," among others.) The "ig-" part of the word is akin to the negative prefix in-; when joined to the root "-nom-," it indicates the namelessness that goes with shame or dishonor. To suffer an ignominious fate is to lose the opportunity to make a name for oneself or to lose one's good name. When "ignominious" was first borrowed from a French form of the word in the 15th century, it meant "disgraced" or "dishonorable." "Ignominious" continues to have such meanings, but it also has somewhat milder meanings - "embarrassing" and "humiliating."

First Known Use of ignominious

15th century


IGNOMINIOUS Defined for English Language Learners

ignominious

adjective

Definition of ignominious for English Language Learners

  • : causing disgrace or shame


IGNOMINIOUS Defined for Kids

ignominious

adjective ig·no·min·i·ous \ ˌig-nə-ˈmi-nē-əs \

Definition of ignominious for Students

: disgraceful
  • an ignominious defeat


Seen and Heard

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