no·​bil·​i·​ty | \ nō-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce nobility (audio) \

Definition of nobility

1 : the quality or state of being noble in character, quality, or rank
2 : the body of persons forming the noble class in a country or state : aristocracy

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of nobility in a Sentence

the nobility of his character They have shown great courage and nobility of purpose.
Recent Examples on the Web In the show’s only nod to the nobility of seeing a job through to completion, however, those who are eliminated don’t leave the show. Washington Post, "CBS’s ‘Tough as Nails’ tries to celebrate hard work, but its tough talk smacks of class divide," 7 July 2020 Even more explicitly than those recent films, the movie comes bathed in Greatest Generation sheen, nearly every frame radiating a sort of eagle's-eye nobility undimmed by scheming Krauts. Leah Greenblatt,, "Tom Hanks is the captain now in tense WWII naval drama Greyhound: Review," 6 July 2020 Count Hans von Huebner, although there’s no evidence that he was descended from nobility. Paula Allen Columnist,, "Alamo gives San Antonio artist career boost later in life," 28 June 2020 There is a certain nobility in coming to accept this fact -- and the unending nature of worry in our lives. The School Of Life, CNN, "The School of Life presents: Forget finding happiness, instead find peace with anxiety," 13 May 2020 Dench inhabits her hieratic role with wisdom, grace, nobility, and a sense of moment; Elba invests Macavity with fierce and insinuating power. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Cats” Could Have Been a Contender," 27 Dec. 2019 Sims: The show is interrogating Atticus’s passivity and his nobility. David Sims, The Atlantic, "What It Means to Stage To Kill a Mockingbird in 2019," 17 Dec. 2019 There’s a nobility to keeping the pizza ovens burning right now, just as there’s a degree of dedication required to go out and get it. Mike Sutter,, "52 Weeks of Pizza: Cerroni’s Purple Garlic restaurant fails with pizza, scores with a sandwich on San Antonio’s Austin Highway," 10 Apr. 2020 And in this progression toward its own defeat, McCann’s book attains a strange nobility. Charles Finch, Washington Post, "Colum McCann’s ‘Apeirogon’ takes an elliptical approach to the unending Middle East conflict," 10 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nobility.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of nobility

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nobility

Middle English nobilite, from Anglo-French nobilité, from Latin nobilitat-, nobilitas, from nobilis

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nobility

Time Traveler for nobility

Time Traveler

The first known use of nobility was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for nobility

Last Updated

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nobility.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nobility


How to pronounce nobility (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nobility

: the quality or state of being noble in character or quality
: the group of people who are members of the highest social class in some countries


no·​bil·​i·​ty | \ nō-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce nobility (audio) \
plural nobilities

Kids Definition of nobility

1 : the quality or state of having a fine or admirable character
2 : high social rank
3 : the class or a group of people of high birth or rank

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on nobility

What made you want to look up nobility? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!