nobility

noun
no·​bil·​i·​ty | \nō-ˈbi-lə-tē \

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

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 Assigning a special nobility to his country’s role abroad, even (or especially) now, is a way for McCain to keep believing that Americans are ultimately united, instead of terribly divided. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "In ‘The Restless Wave,’ John McCain Says America Is Still Exceptional," 16 May 2018 Walking in pace with an elderly person — nobility or not — are basic manners in almost every culture, noted the Times. Meagan Fredette, refinery29.com, "Trump Ends Tumultuous U.K. Visit With A Breach In Royal Protocol," 14 July 2018 The realm is full of young people, since adults who were considered a threat by nobility have been killed off. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "Meet Tomi Adeyemi, a former Hinsdale resident who might win Jimmy Fallon's book club contest," 28 June 2018 But so many others are possessed of a dreadful, unremarked upon sameness, and an unremitting nobility that can leave this reader feeling a bit mutinous. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "What the Living Can Learn by Looking Death Straight in the Eye," 26 June 2018 By Lady Xia’s day, gibbons had become popular among the nobility as pets and symbols of the class of scholars and officials called Junzi. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Extinct gibbon in ancient Chinese tomb hints at other lost primate species," 22 June 2018 Her subjects ranged from the Habsburg Empire’s high nobility, shown at play in late World War I-era issues of society magazines, to Vienna’s high-culture heartbreaker, Alma Mahler, Gustav’s unfaithful wife. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Faces of Old Vienna," 12 July 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.

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

Statistics for nobility

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nobility

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nobility

nobility

noun

English Language Learners Definition of nobility

: the quality or state of being noble in character or quality

the nobility : 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 \
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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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