Definition of indignity in English:



  • [mass noun] Treatment or circumstances that cause one to feel shame or to lose one's dignity.

    ‘the indignity of needing financial help’
    [count noun] ‘he was subjected to all manner of indignities’
    • ‘The indignity of that day stayed with us the entire year, increasing our determination.’
    • ‘He's still steaming with indignity at the whole thing, and of course, he's quite right to be upset.’
    • ‘That means additional bureaucracies, therefore additional cost and also additional indignity to the older person.’
    • ‘And are we clear that we will not add to the burdens of another through punishment and indignity?’
    • ‘He then suffered the ultimate indignity, in losing - not to a Croatian qualifier - but a Brit.’
    • ‘The final indignity was to lose a home bonus point in the dying minutes as the descending darkness became both literal and metaphoric.’
    • ‘Millions were still suffering discrimination, stigma and indignity worldwide.’
    • ‘To add extra indignity to his humiliation he is suffering from a bout of hiccups that threatens to enter the Guinness Book of Records.’
    • ‘I bought books I did not want to save them from this indignity.’
    • ‘Would you not agree that no person should be made to suffer this indignity?’
    • ‘A man given to indignity is capable of committing any crime, however heinous it may be.’
    • ‘Organised competitive sport is agony for many children: it can lead to humiliation and indignity.’
    • ‘The main entrance door is defaced with graffiti, which should shock the parents of youngsters guilty of this profound indignity.’
    • ‘We have already committed the ultimate indignity on them - we have taken their lives.’
    • ‘I guess if he did have to suffer that indignity, Amnesty International would be up in arms.’
    • ‘Foreign rule, with all of its humiliation and indignity, is still a living memory.’
    • ‘Nowhere does she explain in a meaningful way that it is also a reaction to poverty, imperialism, and indignity.’
    • ‘The indignity of youth is compounded hugely by being in the sticks.’
    • ‘Each year 40,000 elderly people are forced to suffer this indignity.’
    • ‘You have tons of information, but not one sense of feeling… not one sense of one's own sense of indignity.’
    shame, humiliation, loss of self-respect, loss of pride, embarrassment, mortification, abasement, degradation
    disgrace, dishonour, stigma, disrepute, discredit, opprobrium, scandal, infamy, ignobility, loss of face
    affront, insult, abuse, mistreatment, injury, offence, injustice, outrage, slight, snub, contempt, disrespect, discourtesy
    slap in the face, kick in the teeth
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from French indignité or Latin indignitas, from indignari regard as unworthy.