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 confuseddeign dine Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deigning

Contemporary Examples of deigning

  • Chewing on a thick piece of gum, Moss ceremoniously pulled it out when deigning to talk.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Britain's Naughty 'It' Girls

    Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni

    May 11, 2009

Historical Examples of deigning

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for deigning



(intr) to think it fit or worthy of oneself (to do something); condescendhe will not deign to speak to us
(tr) archaic to vouchsafehe deigned no reply

Word Origin for deign

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

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