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[dig-nuh-fahy] /ˈdɪg nəˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), dignified, dignifying.
to confer honor or dignity upon; honor; ennoble.
to give a high-sounding title or name to; confer unmerited distinction upon:
to dignify pedantry by calling it scholarship.
Origin of dignify
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English dignifien < Old French dignefier < Medieval Latin dignificāre, equivalent to Latin dign(us) worthy + -ificāre -ify
Related forms
overdignify, verb (used with object), overdignified, overdignifying.
quasi-dignifying, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dignify
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What we dignify by the name of reason is just as often a mere prompting of instinct.

    Gerald Fitzgerald Charles James Lever
  • And yet that is precisely what you dignify with the name of compensation.

    Sir Jasper Carew Charles James Lever
  • Will it vindicate your memory, uphold your fame, and dignify your motives?

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • To elevate and dignify her is to elevate and dignify the world.

  • I 'm not even going to dignify this letter by replying to it.

    The Cross-Cut

    Courtney Ryley Cooper
  • Nothing could dignify Pradon's play, as nothing could really degrade that of Racine.

  • I can recollect no process which I should now dignify with the term of thought.

    The World I Live In

    Helen Keller
  • One bit of woodland, however, was beginning to dignify the valley.

    Winning the Wilderness Margaret Hill McCarter
  • To call it a room was to dignify it by a title to which it could lay no real claim.

    To Love Margaret Peterson
British Dictionary definitions for dignify


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to invest with honour or dignity; ennoble
to add distinction to: the meeting was dignified by the minister
to add a semblance of dignity to, esp by the use of a pretentious name or title: she dignifies every plant with its Latin name
Word Origin
C15: from Old French dignifier, from Late Latin dignificāre, from Latin dignus worthy + facere to make
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 dignify

mid-15c., from Middle French dignifier, from Medieval Latin dignificare "make worthy," from Latin dignus (see dignity) + -ficare, from facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Related: Dignification; dignified; dignifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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