n. pl. dig·ni·ties
1. The quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect.
2. Inherent nobility and worth: the dignity of honest labor.
a. Poise and self-respect.
b. Stateliness and formality in manner and appearance.
4. The respect and honor associated with an important position.
5. A high office or rank.
6. dignities The ceremonial symbols and observances attached to high office.
7. Archaic A dignitary.
[Middle English dignite, from Old French, from Latin dignitās, from dignus, worthy; see dek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.