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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.
Origin of dignitary
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 dignitary
  • Unlike policemen, they are not called away to supervise a parade or protect a dignitary.
  • Then the warden has her dragged to the yard to present a positive image of the prison to a visiting dignitary.
  • At the time, such conversions were sufficiently rare to merit the same treatment as a visit by a foreign dignitary.
  • They are tasked with traffic enforcement and dignitary escorts throughout the year.
British Dictionary definitions for dignitary


/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 dignitary

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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