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adjective ig·no·ble \ig-ˈnō-bəl\

Definition of ignoble

  1. 1 :  of low birth or common origin :  plebeian

  2. 2 :  characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness

ignobility play \ˌig-nō-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
ignobleness play \ig-ˈnō-bəl-nəs\ noun
ignobly play \-blē also -bə-lē\ adverb

Examples of ignoble in a sentence

  1. <an ignoble child who would one day grow up to be a prince among playwrights>

  2. <such an ignoble act is completely unworthy of a military officer>

Did You Know?

The word noble, in addition to referring to someone born to aristocratic ranks, can also be used to describe someone of outstanding character. That word first appeared in English in the 13th century, and its antonym, "ignoble," came about two centuries later. Ignoble derives via Middle English and Middle French from the Latin prefix in- ("not") and the Old Latin gnobilis ("noble"). Originally, "ignoble" described someone born to common or plebeian origins, but by the late 16th century it had come to describe people of dishonorable character, or the actions performed by such people.

Origin of ignoble

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin ignobilis, from in- + Old Latin gnobilis noble

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of ignoble

mean, ignoble, abject, sordid mean being below the normal standards of human decency and dignity. mean suggests small-mindedness, ill temper, or cupidity <mean and petty satire>. ignoble suggests a loss or lack of some essential high quality of mind or spirit <an ignoble scramble after material possessions>. abject may imply degradation, debasement, or servility <abject poverty>. sordid is stronger than all of these in stressing physical or spiritual degradation and abjectness <a sordid story of murder and revenge>.

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