in·​dig·​ni·​ty | \ in-ˈdig-nə-tē How to pronounce indignity (audio) \
plural indignities

Definition of indignity

1a : an act that offends against a person's dignity or self-respect : insult
b : humiliating treatment
2 obsolete : lack or loss of dignity or honor

Examples of indignity in a Sentence

He remembers all the indignities he had to suffer in the early years of his career. We must endure the indignities of growing old. He suffered the indignity of being forced to leave the courtroom. The indignity of it all was too much to bear.
Recent Examples on the Web That same year, the city suffered the indignity of being passed by Los Angeles as the largest city in California. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Mar. 2022 But there was a further indignity—in 1944, a mathematician named D.F. Ferguson independently went through Shanks’ work. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 14 Mar. 2022 What this means in practice is that even entrepreneurs with decades of profitability face the indignity — and financial harm — of being unable to borrow money. NBC News, 27 Jan. 2022 The worst indignity: His boss was one of the best drummers ever. Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, 31 Mar. 2022 But the biggest indignity was Maxi Kleber grabbing a rebound, dribbling the length of the court and waltzing in for a layup just before the quarter ended while the Lakers stood and watched. Broderick Turnerstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2022 Nevertheless, the wrangler says the dressing down by Clash was an indignity he was conditioned to accept. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Mar. 2022 That was nothing compared to the indignity suffered by the conference’s marquee program, erasing what had been a remarkable season of overachievement in a sudden, staggering role reversal. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Mar. 2022 The violin drew me into a reenactment of this pivotal moment in the evolution of hearing, without the indignity of prostrating myself. David George Haskell, Wired, 8 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of indignity

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for indignity

Latin indignitat-, indignitas, from indignus

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Time Traveler for indignity

Time Traveler

The first known use of indignity was in 1581

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Dictionary Entries Near indignity

indignities to the person



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Statistics for indignity

Last Updated

4 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Indignity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for indignity


in·​dig·​ni·​ty | \ in-ˈdig-nə-tē How to pronounce indignity (audio) \
plural indignities

Kids Definition of indignity

1 : an act that injures a person's dignity or self-respect She remembers every insult, every indignity.
2 : treatment that shows a lack of respect He suffered the indignity of being fired.


in·​dig·​ni·​ty | \ in-ˈdig-nə-tē How to pronounce indignity (audio) \
plural indignities

Legal Definition of indignity

: persistent and intolerable behavior toward a spouse especially as a manifestation of settled estrangement

More from Merriam-Webster on indignity

Nglish: Translation of indignity for Spanish Speakers


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