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[deyn] /deɪn/
verb (used without object)
to think fit or in accordance with one's dignity; condescend:
He would not deign to discuss the matter with us.
verb (used with object)
to condescend to give or grant:
He deigned no reply.
Obsolete. to condescend to accept.
Origin of deign
1250-1300; Middle English deinen < Old French deignier < Latin dignārī to judge worthy, equivalent to dign(us) worthy + -ārī infinitive suffix
Can be confused
deign, dine. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for deigning
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Belknap-Jacksons left hastily, not deigning him a glance.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Mama demanded fiercely, deigning for the first time to address me.

  • They moved from place to place, despising agriculture, and not deigning to build.

    The Boy Crusaders John G. Edgar
  • Flo was in an agony of tears, not deigning to look at the rescued ball.

    The Vicar of Bullhampton

    Anthony Trollope
  • "I don't know nothing about that," said the lad, not deigning to look at the Squire.

    The Vicar of Bullhampton

    Anthony Trollope
  • Mrs. Hurstwood kept on arranging her hair, not so much as deigning a glance.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • They received the fish as a matter of course, not deigning in any way to thank us.

    In the Eastern Seas W.H.G. Kingston
  • “Secure him,” said the officer, deigning no reply to these remarks.

    Charlie to the Rescue R.M. Ballantyne
  • She sat stiff and straight in her seat, not deigning a reply.

    A College Girl Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
British Dictionary definitions for deigning


(intransitive) to think it fit or worthy of oneself (to do something); condescend: he will not deign to speak to us
(transitive) (archaic) to vouchsafe: he deigned no reply
Word Origin
C13: from Old French deignier, from Latin dignārī to consider worthy, 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 deigning



c.1300, from Old French deignier (Modern French daigner), from Latin dignari "to deem worthy or fit" (source of Italian degnare, Spanish deñar), from dignus "worthy" (see dignity). Sense of "take or accept graciously" led to that of "condescend" (1580s). Related: Deigned; deigning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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