ignominious

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

Definition of ignominious

  1. 1 :  marked with or characterized by disgrace or shame :  dishonorable

  2. 2 :  deserving of shame or infamy :  despicable

  3. 3 :  humiliating, degrading an ignominious defeat

ignominiously

adverb

ignominiousness

noun

ignominious was our Word of the Day on 01/10/2016. Hear the podcast!

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

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."

15th Century

First Known Use of ignominious

15th century


IGNOMINIOUS Defined for English Language Learners

ignominious

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

Definition of ignominious for English Language Learners

  • : causing disgrace or shame


IGNOMINIOUS Defined for Kids

ignominious

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

Definition of ignominious for Students

  1. :  disgraceful an ignominious defeat



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