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deign (dayn)

verb tr. and intr.: To do something reluctantly as if it's beneath one's dignity; to condescend.

[From Middle English deinen, from Old French deignier (to deem worthy), from Latin dignare, a form of dignari, from dignus (worthy). Ultimately from Indo-European root dek- (to take or accept). Other words from the same root are decent, doctor, paradox, decorate, dignity, disdain, indignant, and disciple.]

"But he deigned to unleash several less than flattering comments."
Andy Edelstein; Memorable Moments; Newsday (New York); May 23, 2004.

"After a quarter of an hour, he even deigns to remove his sunglasses (always a good idea when inside a windowless room)."
Usher: King of Bling; The Independent (London, UK); May 29, 2004.

See more usage examples of deign in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

This week's theme: Words to highlight rankism


Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members. -Pearl S. Buck, Nobelist novelist (1892-1973)

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