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[dig-ni-ter-ee] /ˈdɪg nɪˌtɛr i/
noun, plural dignitaries.
a person who holds a high rank or office, as in the government or church.
1665-75; dignit(y) + -ary
Related forms
[dig-ni-tair-ee-uh l] /ˌdɪg nɪˈtɛər i əl/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dignitaries
  • Pigs run wild on a highway while dignitaries swim in a polluted river.
  • To his surprise he began to get hired from time to time to follow dignitaries and celebrities around.
  • We retrace our steps and eventually find our way to the director's office, where various dignitaries are gathering.
  • These pieces are given as gifts to foreign dignitaries and are able to observe and communicate back.
  • Sometimes local dignitaries join the procession, adorned with chains of office, sometimes not.
  • The library is the location for many lectures and receptions, especially by visiting dignitaries.
  • But bad weather also meant that humanitarian airlifts probably would be halted and visits from foreign dignitaries delayed.
  • He likes to receive visiting dignitaries on the new tennis courts that are the pride of his fiefdom.
  • Some northern dignitaries argue that the group is hardly more ambitious today.
  • Wherever they stopped, they were greeted by stiff lines of dignitaries or mobbed by paparazzi and the curious public.
British Dictionary definitions for dignitaries


/ˈdɪɡnɪtərɪ; -trɪ/
noun (pl) -taries
a person of high official position or rank, esp in government or the church
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 dignitaries



1670s; see dignity + -ary. Related: Dignitaries (plural).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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