noun, plural dig·ni·tar·ies.

a person who holds a high rank or office, as in the government or church.

Origin of dignitary

First recorded in 1665–75; dignit(y) + -ary
Related formsdig·ni·tar·i·al [dig-ni-tair-ee-uh l] /ˌdɪg nɪˈtɛər i əl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for dignitaries


noun plural -taries

a person of high official position or rank, esp in government or the church
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 dignitaries



1670s; see dignity + -ary. Related: Dignitaries (plural).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper