dignity

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English dignyte, from Old French dignité, from Latin dīgnitās (worthiness, merit, dignity, grandeur, authority, rank, office), from dīgnus (worthy, appropriate), from Proto-Italic *degnos, from Proto-Indo-European *dḱ-nos, from *deḱ- (to take). See also decus (honor, esteem) and decet (it is fitting). Cognate to deign. Doublet of dainty. In this sense, displaced native Old English weorþsċipe, which became Modern English worship.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈdɪɡnɪti/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

dignity (countable and uncountable, plural dignities)

  1. The state of being dignified or worthy of esteem: elevation of mind or character.
    • 1751 December (indicated as 1752), Henry Fielding, chapter VIII, in Amelia. [], volume I, London: [] [William Strahan] for A[ndrew] Millar [], OCLC 1159707239:
      He uttered this ... with great majesty, or, as he called it, dignity.
    • 1981, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, art. 5
      Every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being.
  2. Decorum, formality, stateliness.
    • 1934, Aldous Huxley, "Puerto Barrios", in Beyond the Mexique Bay:
      Official DIGNITY tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.
  3. High office, rank, or station.
  4. One holding high rank; a dignitary.
  5. (obsolete) Fundamental principle; axiom; maxim.
  6. (euphemistic, jargon) The male genitalia.

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