nobility

noun
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

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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

By James Pope-Hennessy, edited by Hugo Vickers Hodder & Stoughton, 335 pages, $32.99 The nobility, Pope-Hennessy observes, are self-absorbed and have short attention spans. Moira Hodgson, WSJ, "‘The Quest for Queen Mary’ Review: Mum’s the Word," 10 Feb. 2019 Given the symbolism, and the obvious tragedy of his death, there will be those who ascribe nobility to Chau, and courage. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "Death of a Missionary," 25 Nov. 2018 In My Fair Lady, the movie adaptation of the play Pygmalion, a flower vendor with a cockney accent receives voice lessons to sound like a member of the nobility. Neanda Salvaterra, WSJ, "We’re Terribly Sorry, but You Sound a Bit Too British for Britain," 18 Nov. 2018 Away from the battlefield, both films do a decent but imperfect job dressing nobility and peasants. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 Both pieces have been worn by Japanese nobility since the Heian era, which lasted from 794 to 1185. Noor Brara, Vogue, "All For Love: Japan’s Princess Ayako Weds Kei Moriya," 29 Oct. 2018 This new Washington was to be a figure of classical restraint and nobility, rather than youthful revolutionary vigor. Jason Farago, New York Times, "A George Washington Monument, Rediscovered in Fragile Plaster," 27 June 2018 But there have been sacrifices of traditional virtues south of the border as well as north—religious fidelity, the nobility of poverty, adherence to ritual. Felipe Fernández-armesto, WSJ, "‘Vanishing Frontiers’ Review: The Ties That Bind," 25 June 2018 Walls are adorned with a mash-up of Asian art and portraits of European nobility. Alice Short, latimes.com, "At Lawry's The Prime Rib, not much has changed in 80 years, and that's the point," 10 May 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for nobility

Last Updated

3 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for nobility

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

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More Definitions for nobility

nobility

noun

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

nobility

noun
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

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Comments on nobility

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