deign

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English deignen, from Old French deignier (consider worthy), from Latin dignārī, present active infinitive of digno (consider worthy), from dignus (worthy). Cognate to dignity.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

deign (third-person singular simple present deigns, present participle deigning, simple past and past participle deigned)

  1. (intransitive) To condescend; to accept as appropriate to one's dignity.
    He didn't even deign to give us a nod of the head; he thought us that far beneath him.
  2. (transitive) To condescend to give; to do something.
    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act I scene II:
      Nor would we deign him burial of his men.
    • 1871, Charlotte Mary Yonge, Heartsease, Or, The Brother's Wife (volume 2, page 189)
      He, who usually hardly deigned a glance at his infants, now lay gazing with inexpressible softness and sadness at the little sleeping face []
  3. (obsolete) To esteem worthy; to consider worth notice.
    • 1598?', William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I, scene I, line 162-3
      I fear my Julia would not deign my lines,receiving them from such a worthless post.

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