Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To confer dignity or honor on; give distinction to: dignified him with a title.
  • transitive v. To raise the status of (something unworthy or lowly); make honorable: would not dignify the insulting question with a response.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to invest with dignity or honour
  • v. to give distinction to
  • v. to exalt in rank
  • v. to honor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To invest with dignity or honor; to make illustrious; to give distinction to; to exalt in rank; to honor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To invest with honor or dignity; exalt in rank or office; promote.
  • To confer honor upon; make illustrious; give celebrity to; honor.
  • To make worthy of admiration and respect; elevate.
  • = Syn.1. To prefer, advance.
  • To grace, adorn, ennoble, lend or give luster to.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. raise the status of
  • v. confer dignity or honor upon

Etymologies

Middle English dignifien, from Old French dignifier, from Late Latin dignificāre : Latin dignus, worthy; see dek- in Indo-European roots + Latin -ficāre, -fy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French dignifier, from Late Latin dignificare; Latin dignus (worthy) + ficare (in comp.), facere (to make). See deign, and fact. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Privately, one campaign official says they were aware of several of the more scurrilous rumors about Palin making the rounds of the blogosphere, although the official declined to "dignify" them with any comment.

    What McCain Didn't Know About Sarah Palin

  • They chose to ignore the science and to rely instead on Democratic conventional wisdom, that bringing a smear into the light of day and attacking it there before it captures the popular imagination only draws attention to it, and that it's better not to "dignify" it.

    Drew Westen: What Obama Needs to Do in the Final Sixty Days: Avoiding President Palin

  • When the swift boat attacks began to surface along with a book detailing their charges in early August, the Kerry team let it fester, not wanting to "dignify" the attack.

    Drew Westen: What Obama Needs to Do in Denver

  • When the Bush campaign began branding Kerry as a flip-flopper the day he became the presumptive nominee, the Kerry campaign let it fester, not wanting to "dignify" the attack.

    Drew Westen: What Obama Needs to Do in Denver

  • Uh, yeah, so you won't "dignify" me with a link because... why?

    One more night of convention blogging. The Invesco Field extravaganza.

  • The Atlantic's liberal bloggers are puffed up with outrage that Mrs. Clinton would "dignify" the Spectator, as James Fallows puts it:

    Life in the Vast Lane

  • Is it that all the newspapers and TV stations in the world decided that they did not want to "dignify" that story by investigating it to see if it were true or false?

    527s!

  • Emphasising that he would not like to "dignify" Liberhan's charge that he forestalled the submission of the 1,029-page report, Anupam Gupta said he was happy that he quit the Commission at the right time.

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  • "AA - I agree that Nicole Belle's attack was unfair (assuming you quoted it correctly, as I do) and that her decision not to "dignify" you with a link does suggest the possibility of an attempt to deceive (albeit a ham-handed one as presumably most readers know how to get to your site).

    Nicole Belle embarrasses herself with a childishly written, dishonest smear.

  • Delaney, in a telephone interview, said he was not going to "dignify" Cresitello's comments, only saying "I acted on the advice of the counsel.

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