Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect.
  • noun Inherent nobility and worth.
  • noun Poise and self-respect.
  • noun Stateliness and formality in manner and appearance.
  • noun The respect and honor associated with an important position.
  • noun A high office or rank.
  • noun The ceremonial symbols and observances attached to high office.
  • noun Archaic A dignitary.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state of being worthy; nobleness or elevation of mind; worthiness: as, dignity of sentiments.
  • noun Elevation; honorable place or elevated rank; degree of excellence, either in estimation or in the order of nature: as, man is superior in dignity to brutes.
  • noun Elevation and repose of aspect or of deportment; nobility of mien: as, a man of native dignity; “dignity of attitude,”
  • noun Height; importance; rank.
  • noun An elevated office, civil or ecclesiastical; hereditary rank or title, or official distinction.
  • noun The rank or title of a nobleman; the right to use a title of honor, originally in virtue of an estate and accompanied by an official function.
  • noun One who holds high rank; a dignitary.
  • noun Any honor conferred; promotion.
  • noun In rhetoric, avoidance of unseemly or trivial tropes and figures.
  • noun In astrology, a situation in which a planet has an influence more powerful than usual.
  • noun A self-evident truth; an axiom.
  • noun Majesty, stateliness, gravity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The state of being worthy or honorable; elevation of mind or character; true worth; excellence.
  • noun Elevation; grandeur.
  • noun Elevated rank; honorable station; high office, political or ecclesiastical; degree of excellence; preferment; exaltation.
  • noun Quality suited to inspire respect or reverence; loftiness and grace; impressiveness; stateliness; -- said of mien, manner, style, etc.
  • noun One holding high rank; a dignitary.
  • noun obsolete Fundamental principle; axiom; maxim.
  • noun to have or to affect a high notion of one's own rank, privilege, or character.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A quality or state worthy of esteem and respect.
  • noun Decorum, formality, stateliness.
  • noun High office, rank, or station.

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

  • noun high office or rank or station
  • noun formality in bearing and appearance
  • noun the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect

Etymologies

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

[Middle English dignite, from Old French, from Latin dignitās, from dignus, worthy; see dek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English dignitee, from Old French dignite, from Latin dignitas ("worthiness, merit, dignity, grandeur, authority, rank, office"), from dignus ("worthy, appropriate"), probably akin to decus ("honor, esteem") and decet ("it is fitting"). Cognate to deign.

Examples

  • They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.

    The Progressives’ Static World

  • "She has brought the word dignity to new heights by her courage," Pelosi said.

    The Seattle Times

  • "She has brought the word dignity to new heights by her courage," Pelosi said.

    News - chicagotribune.com

  • "She has brought the word dignity to new heights by her courage," Pelosi said.

    News - chicagotribune.com

  • "She has brought the word dignity to new heights by her courage," Pelosi said.

    News - chicagotribune.com

  • I use the word dignity in a tongue-in-cheek way, because I realized I hadn't come far in the past 31 years when it comes to letting go of summer without wrapping my body around it and holding on for dear life.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • "She has brought the word dignity to new heights by her courage," Pelosi said.

    News - latimes.com

  • I don't need that soul if the dignity is already gone, eh?

    We Are No Stranger to the Joys of Bribery

  • He quickly gave the order to admit them, and so keen was his curiosity, despite what he called his dignity, that he got up and went forward to meet them.

    Crime d'Orcival. English

  • Kennedy also used the word "dignity" three times in his 2003 opinion throwing out the sodomy prosecution of two gay men, tantalizing liberals with the possibility that he will someday bless same-sex marriage.

    NYT > Home Page

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