verb (used without object)

  1. to think fit or in accordance with one’s dignity; condescend: He would not deign to discuss the matter with us.

verb (used with object)

  1. to condescend to give or grant: He deigned no reply.
  2. Obsolete. to condescend to accept.


  1. (intr) to think it fit or worthy of oneself (to do something); condescendhe will not deign to speak to us
  2. (tr) archaic to vouchsafehe deigned no reply

c.1300, from Old French deignier (Modern French daigner), from Latin dignari “to deem worthy or fit” (source of Italian degnare, Spanish deñar), from dignus “worthy” (see dignity). Sense of “take or accept graciously” led to that of “condescend” (1580s). Related: Deigned; deigning.

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