• synonyms


noun, plural dig·ni·ties.
  1. bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation.
  2. nobility or elevation of character; worthiness: dignity of sentiments.
  3. elevated rank, office, station, etc.
  4. relative standing; rank.
  5. a sign or token of respect: an impertinent question unworthy of the dignity of an answer.
  6. Archaic.
    1. person of high rank or title.
    2. such persons collectively.
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Origin of dignity

1175–1225; Middle English dignite < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin dignitās worthiness, equivalent to dign(us) worthy + -itās -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dignities

status, self-respect, respectability, decorum, greatness, poise, grace, virtue, decency, stature, prestige, quality, honor, grandeur, morality, etiquette, majesty, merit, culture, renown

Examples from the Web for dignities

Historical Examples of dignities

  • Ah,” said the ape, “is it so high that it outranks all other dignities?

    The Chinese Fairy Book


  • There commenced straightway a new dynasty of dignities and honours.

  • Time enough when prizes were towed into port to stand out for dignities.


    Talbot Baines Reed

  • He died, still in the enjoyment of these two dignities, in 1589.

  • All the dignities and all the money in the world could not remedy that.

    Louise de la Valliere

    Alexandre Dumas, Pere

British Dictionary definitions for dignities


noun plural -ties
  1. a formal, stately, or grave bearinghe entered with dignity
  2. the state or quality of being worthy of honourthe dignity of manual labour
  3. relative importance; rankhe is next in dignity to the mayor
  4. sense of self-importance (often in the phrases stand (or be) on one's dignity, beneath one's dignity)
  5. high rank, esp in government or the church
  6. a person of high rank or such persons collectively
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Word Origin for dignity

C13: from Old French dignite, from Latin dignitās merit, 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 dignities



early 13c., from Old French dignite "dignity, privilege, honor," from Latin dignitatem (nominative dignitas) "worthiness," from dignus "worth (n.), worthy, proper, fitting" from PIE *dek-no-, from root *dek- "to take, accept" (see decent).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper