- (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.
- (transitive) To condescend to give; to do something.
- c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] 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 […]
- (obsolete) To esteem worthy; to consider worth notice.
- c. 1590–1591, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
- 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.