EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English deignen, borrowed from Old French deignier (consider worthy), from Latin dīgnō, dīgnārī (consider worthy), from dīgnus (worthy). Cognate to dignity and French daigner.

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

deign (third-person singular simple present deigns, present participle deigning, simple past and past participle deigned)

  1. (intransitive) To condescend; to do despite a perceived affront to one's dignity.
    • 1956, Anthony Burgess, Time for a Tiger (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 192:
      "He will deign to finish this simple fare and wash it down with nothing more Lucullan than beer."
    He didn't even deign to give us a nod of the head; he thought us that far beneath him.
  2. (transitive) To condescend to give; to do something.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii], page 131, column 2:
      Nor would we deigne him buriall of his men, / Till he diſburſed, at Saint Colmes ynch, / Ten thouſand Dollars, to our generall vſe.
    • 1871, Charlotte Mary Yonge, Heartsease, Or, The Brother's Wife, volume 2, page 189:
      He, who usually hardly deigned a glance at his infants, now lay gazing with inexpressible softness and sadness at the little sleeping face []
  3. (obsolete) To esteem worthy; to consider worth notice.
    • c. 1590, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard and Ed[ward] Blout, plublished 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene i], page 21, column 1:
      Go, go, be gone, to ſaue your Ship from wrack, / Which cannot periſh hauing thee aboarde, / Being deſtin’d to a drier death on ſhore : / I muſt goe ſend ſome better Meſſenger, / I fear my Iulia would not daigne my lines, / Receiuing them from ſuch a worthleſſe poſt.

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