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 Before the creation of cultured pearls in the early 20th century, natural pearls were the most valuable of all gems, worn only by the nobility and the very wealthy, set into crowns and sewn on clothes. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Among Portuguese nobility in the 15th and 16th centuries, for example, second- and later-born sons were sent to the front as soldiers more often than firstborn sons. Lynn Berger, Time, 13 Apr. 2021 His family was minor nobility in Florence, descended from a participant in the Second Crusade. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Apr. 2021 Historical records show that the dynasty’s founder, Liu Bang, later known as Gaozu, created a residence for members of the nobility near the cemetery to aid the construction and servicing of the imperial mausoleum. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Apr. 2021 But Hemingway's belief that work and craft give life nobility stands the test of time. D.j. Tice, Star Tribune, 5 Apr. 2021 The time has come to elevate the potato to its rightful place in the American pantry, to honor its nobility and grace. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 23 Mar. 2021 And John Henry walks alone on a pitch where nobility, honor, and tradition defeated greed and power by a score of approximately one million to nil., 21 Apr. 2021 Members of the European nobility soon copied his idea. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, 5 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for nobility

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for nobility

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nobility.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for nobility



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


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