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[dig-ni-tee] /ˈdɪg nɪ ti/
noun, plural dignities.
bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation.
nobility or elevation of character; worthiness:
dignity of sentiments.
elevated rank, office, station, etc.
relative standing; rank.
a sign or token of respect:
an impertinent question unworthy of the dignity of an answer.
  1. person of high rank or title.
  2. such persons collectively.
Origin of dignity
1175-1225; Middle English dignite < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin dignitās worthiness, equivalent to dign(us) worthy + -itās -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dignity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Gone now was the consciousness of strength, the dignity of the patrician!

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • Pericles has borne all his misfortunes with the dignity of an immortal.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • "I'm going to school," replied Peter with a great deal of dignity.

  • Were I to be queen of the universe, that dignity should not absolve me from my duty to you and to my father.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • They are not of the dignity of Somerset House, but they will serve.

    London Impressions Alice Meynell
British Dictionary definitions for dignity


noun (pl) -ties
a formal, stately, or grave bearing: he entered with dignity
the state or quality of being worthy of honour: the dignity of manual labour
relative importance; rank: he is next in dignity to the mayor
sense of self-importance (often in the phrases stand (or be) on one's dignity, beneath one's dignity)
high rank, esp in government or the church
a person of high rank or such persons collectively
Word Origin
C13: from Old French dignite, from Latin dignitās merit, 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 dignity

early 13c., from Old French dignite "dignity, privilege, honor," from Latin dignitatem (nominative dignitas) "worthiness," from dignus "worth (n.), worthy, proper, fitting" from PIE *dek-no-, from root *dek- "to take, accept" (see decent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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