Definition of deign in English:

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Pronunciation: /dān/


[no object]
1Do something that one considers to be beneath one’s dignity: she did not deign to answer the maid’s question
More example sentences
  • There is a third, rather stupid, tax distributional question, concerned with the impact of any such tax, but since I think the proposal out of court in principal, I will not deign to even consider this.
  • He is the ultimate rage freak, glorying in the heat of his negative reviews while rarely deigning to actually consider the positive.
  • He can, however, tap dance, and does so here, something Noel Coward wouldn't even have deigned to consider.
1.1 [with object] archaic Condescend to give (something): he had deigned an apology
More example sentences
  • She didn't deign a reply until she was about three feet away.
  • Anthony didn't deign a reply because the teacher had now started to speak.
condescend, stoop, lower oneself, demean oneself, humble oneself;
consent, vouchsafe
informal come down from one's high horse


Middle English: from Old French degnier, from Latin dignare, dignari 'deem worthy', from dignus 'worthy'.

  • To deign is to do something that you consider beneath your dignity, and the word is bound up with ‘dignity’. It goes back to Latin dignare ‘to judge to be worthy’, which was formed from dignus ‘worthy’, the source of dignity (Middle English), and dignify (Late Middle English), and the negative disdain (Middle English) ‘consider unworthy’.

Words that rhyme with deign

abstain, appertain, arcane, arraign, ascertain, attain, Bahrain, bane, blain, brain, Braine, Cain, Caine, campaign, cane, cinquain, chain, champagne, champaign, Champlain, Charmaine, chicane, chow mein, cocaine, Coleraine, Coltrane, complain, constrain, contain, crane, Dane, demesne, demi-mondaine, detain, disdain, domain, domaine, drain, Duane, Dwane, Elaine, entertain, entrain, explain, fain, fane, feign, gain, Germaine, germane, grain, humane, Hussein, inane, Jain, Jane, Jermaine, Kane, La Fontaine, lain, lane, legerdemain, Lorraine, main, Maine, maintain, mane, mise en scène, Montaigne, moraine, mundane, obtain, ordain, Paine, pane, pertain, plain, plane, Port-of-Spain, profane, rain, Raine, refrain, reign, rein, retain, romaine, sane, Seine, Shane, Sinn Fein, skein, slain, Spain, Spillane, sprain, stain, strain, sustain, swain, terrain, thane, train, twain, Ujjain, Ukraine, underlain, urbane, vain, vane, vein, Verlaine, vicereine, wain, wane, Wayne

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: deign

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