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

  • intransitive v. To think it appropriate to one's dignity; condescend: wouldn't deign to greet the servant who opened the door. See Synonyms at stoop1.
  • transitive v. To condescend to give or grant; vouchsafe. "Nor would we deign him burial of his men” ( Shakespeare).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To condescend; to accept as appropriate to one's dignity.
  • v. To condescend to give; to do something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To think worthy; to vouchsafe; to condescend; - - followed by an infinitive.
  • transitive v. To esteem worthy; to consider worth notice; -- opposed to disdain.
  • transitive v. To condescend to give or bestow; to stoop to furnish; to vouchsafe; to allow; to grant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To think worthy; think well of; think worthy of acceptance.
  • To grant or permit, as by condescension or favor.
  • To vouchsafe; condescend: with an infinitive for object.

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

  • v. do something that one considers to be below one's dignity


Middle English deinen, from Old French deignier, to regard as worthy, from Latin dignārī, from dignus, worthy; see dek- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English deignen, from Old French deignier ("consider worthy"), from Latin dignārī, present active infinitive of digno ("consider worthy"), from dignus ("worthy"). Cognate to dignity. (Wiktionary)



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  • This word was used in "Black Hawk Down."

    June 10, 2012

  • condescend

    March 14, 2009

  • A word with an interesting history--it went from "accept graciously" to the current meaning of "condescend."

    July 17, 2007