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[deyn] /deɪn/
verb (used without object)
to think fit or in accordance with one's dignity; condescend:
He would not deign to discuss the matter with us.
verb (used with object)
to condescend to give or grant:
He deigned no reply.
Obsolete. to condescend to accept.
Origin of deign
1250-1300; Middle English deinen < Old French deignier < Latin dignārī to judge worthy, equivalent to dign(us) worthy + -ārī infinitive suffix
Can be confused
deign, dine. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for deign
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The khan, however, did not deign to interfere in a strife which caused him no trouble.

    The Empire of Russia John S. C. Abbott
  • General Wotherspoon did not deign to reply, but walked away.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • Nor does she deign to look at you until you are back in the city street where you met.

  • Mrs. Beasley, whether she heard or not, did not deign to reply.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • deign Yoshi to be careful in relations with this man, if he should again appear.

    Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) James S. De Benneville
  • Victor, whose foot was on the step of the car, did not deign to turn.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Speculation and conjecture doubtless, were evoked as to where the many-stationed Sultan might deign to cast his coveted kerchief.

    The Crooked Stick Rolf Boldrewood
  • What I have to say is, if you will deign to listen, for your private ear.

  • Why need I stay here when I have a voice which he used to deign to praise?

    Cord and Creese James de Mille
British Dictionary definitions for deign


(intransitive) to think it fit or worthy of oneself (to do something); condescend: he will not deign to speak to us
(transitive) (archaic) to vouchsafe: he deigned no reply
Word Origin
C13: from Old French deignier, from Latin dignārī to consider worthy, from dignus worthy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deign

c.1300, from Old French deignier (Modern French daigner), from Latin dignari "to deem worthy or fit" (source of Italian degnare, Spanish deñar), from dignus "worthy" (see dignity). Sense of "take or accept graciously" led to that of "condescend" (1580s). Related: Deigned; deigning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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