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[dig-nuh-fahy] /ˈdɪg nəˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), dignified, dignifying.
to confer honor or dignity upon; honor; ennoble.
to give a high-sounding title or name to; confer unmerited distinction upon:
to dignify pedantry by calling it scholarship.
Origin of dignify
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English dignifien < Old French dignefier < Medieval Latin dignificāre, equivalent to Latin dign(us) worthy + -ificāre -ify
Related forms
overdignify, verb (used with object), overdignified, overdignifying.
quasi-dignifying, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dignify
  • Puffy hopes to dignify the urban life and package it for people who may never have entered a city.
  • Neither should one dignify such models with labels that would suggest they are axiomatic when they clearly are not.
  • We do not intend to dignify this charge with an extended reply.
  • The goal is to dignify the role of parents as change agents within community and government by building their capacity.
  • Too often it is a fine adjective to dignify an otherwise listless noun.
  • Our objective is to honor our veterans' sacrifices and to dignify the cause they served, by serving them.
  • Lockwood stated his record speaks for itself and that he would not dignify it by insulting people.
  • It is one that will dignify domestic service by making- it an exact science.
British Dictionary definitions for dignify


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to invest with honour or dignity; ennoble
to add distinction to: the meeting was dignified by the minister
to add a semblance of dignity to, esp by the use of a pretentious name or title: she dignifies every plant with its Latin name
Word Origin
C15: from Old French dignifier, from Late Latin dignificāre, from Latin dignus worthy + facere to make
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for dignify

mid-15c., from Middle French dignifier, from Medieval Latin dignificare "make worthy," from Latin dignus (see dignity) + -ficare, from facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Related: Dignification; dignified; dignifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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