noun, plural dig·ni·ties.

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

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for dignity

Contemporary Examples of dignity

Historical Examples of dignity

  • On the contrary, His Imperial Majesty appeals to their sentiments of justice, and to the consciousness of their own dignity.

  • The question being illustrated by the production of a decanter, the cabman's dignity relaxed somewhat.

    The Mystery of 31 New Inn

    R. Austin Freeman

  • Slavery, however mitigated and softened, can never be in harmony with the dignity of man.

  • "You do eet too much to me honor," he said, with a dignity which was worthy of his family.

    Love in a Cloud

    Arlo Bates

  • If men in his position did such things, the Canon would have snorted; as it was, however, he remembered his dignity in time.

    People of Position

    Stanley Portal Hyatt

British Dictionary definitions for dignity


noun plural -ties

a formal, stately, or grave bearinghe entered with dignity
the state or quality of being worthy of honourthe dignity of manual labour
relative importance; rankhe is next in dignity to the mayor
sense of self-importance (often in the phrases stand (or be) on one's dignity, beneath one's dignity)
high rank, esp in government or the church
a person of high rank or such persons collectively

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 dignity

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper