Definition for DIG'NI-TY

DIG'NI-TY, n. [L. dignitas, from dignus, worthy; Sp. digno; It. degno; Fr. digne; Arm. dign or din. Qu. its relation to Sax. dugan, to be good, to avail, to be worth, to be profitable. It is probable that g and n are not both radical, but it is uncertain which.]

  1. True honor; nobleness or elevation of mind, consisting in a high sense of propriety, truth and justice, with an abhorrence of mean and sinful actions; opposed to meanness. In this sense, we speak of the dignity of mind, and dignity of sentiments. This dignity is based on moral rectitude; all vice is incompatible with true dignity of mind. The man who deliberately injures another, whether male or female, has no true dignity of soul.
  2. Elevation; honorable place or rank of elevation; degree of excellence, either in estimation, or in the order of nature. Man is superior in dignity to brutes.
  3. Elevation of aspect; grandeur of mien; as, a man of native dignity.
  4. Elevation of deportment; as, dignity of manners or behavior.
  5. An elevated office, civil or ecclesiastical, giving a high rank in society; advancement; preferment, or the rank attached to it. We say, a man enjoys his dignity with moderation, or without haughtiness. Among ecclesiastics, dignity is office or preferment joined with power or jurisdiction. – Bailey. Johnson.
  6. The rank or title of a nobleman. – Encyc.
  7. In oratory, one of the three parts of elocution, consisting in the right use of tropes and figures. – Encyc.
  8. In astrology, an advantage which a planet has on account of its being in some particular place of the zodiac, or in a particular station in respect to other planets. – Bailey.
  9. A general maxim, or principle. [Not used.] – Brown.

Return to page 101 of the letter “D”.