See more synonyms for dignify on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), dig·ni·fied, dig·ni·fy·ing.
  1. to confer honor or dignity upon; honor; ennoble.
  2. to give a high-sounding title or name to; confer unmerited distinction upon: to dignify pedantry by calling it scholarship.

Origin of dignify

1375–1425; late Middle English dignifien < Old French dignefier < Medieval Latin dignificāre, equivalent to Latin dign(us) worthy + -ificāre -ify
Related formso·ver·dig·ni·fy, verb (used with object), o·ver·dig·ni·fied, o·ver·dig·ni·fy·ing.qua·si-dig·ni·fy·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dignify

Contemporary Examples of dignify

Historical Examples of dignify

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for dignify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)
  1. to invest with honour or dignity; ennoble
  2. to add distinction tothe meeting was dignified by the minister
  3. to add a semblance of dignity to, esp by the use of a pretentious name or titleshe dignifies every plant with its Latin name

Word Origin for dignify

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

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