Simple Definition of nabob
: a very rich or important person
Full Definition of nabob
1 : a provincial governor of the Mogul empire in India
2 : a person of great wealth or prominence
Examples of nabob in a sentence
<dressed conservatively so as to make a good impression with the nabobs on the co-op's board>
Did You Know?
In India's Mogul Empire, founded in the 16th century, provincial governors carried the Urdu title of nawab. In 1612, Captain Robert Coverte published a report of his "discovery" of "the Great Mogoll, a prince not till now knowne to our English nation." The Captain informed the English-speaking world that "An earle is called a Nawbob," thereby introducing the English version of the word. Nabob, as it thereafter came to be spelled, gained its extended sense of "a prominent person" in the late 18th century, when it was applied sarcastically to British officials of the East India Company returning home after amassing great wealth in Asia. The word was perhaps most famously used by Vice President Spiro Agnew, in a 1970 speech written by William Safire, when he referred to critical members of the news media as "nattering nabobs of negativism."
Origin of nabob
Hindi navāb & Urdu nawāb, from Arabic nuwwāb, plural of nā'ib governor
First Known Use: 1612
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