noble

adjective
no·​ble | \ˈnō-bəl \
nobler\ ˈnō-​b(ə-​)lər \; noblest\ ˈnō-​b(ə-​)ləst \

Definition of noble 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : possessing outstanding qualities : illustrious was a noble king

b : famous, notable noble deeds

2 : of high birth or exalted rank : aristocratic … my sire is of a noble line …— Samuel Taylor Coleridge noble families

3a : possessing very high or excellent qualities or properties noble wine

b : very good or excellent See that there be a noble supper provided …— R. B. Sheridan

4 : grand or impressive especially in appearance noble edifice a noble cathedral

5 : possessing, characterized by, or arising from superiority of mind or character or of ideals or morals : lofty a noble ambition a noble cause

6 : chemically inert or inactive especially toward oxygen a noble metal such as platinum — compare base sense 6a

noble

noun

Definition of noble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person of noble rank or birth

2 : an old English gold coin equivalent to 6s 8d

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Other Words from noble

Adjective

nobleness \ ˈnō-​bəl-​nəs \ noun
nobly \ ˈnō-​blē also  -​bə-​lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for noble

Adjective

moral, ethical, virtuous, righteous, noble mean conforming to a standard of what is right and good. moral implies conformity to established sanctioned codes or accepted notions of right and wrong. the basic moral values of a community ethical may suggest the involvement of more difficult or subtle questions of rightness, fairness, or equity. committed to the highest ethical principles virtuous implies moral excellence in character. not a religious person, but virtuous nevertheless righteous stresses guiltlessness or blamelessness and often suggests the sanctimonious. wished to be righteous before God and the world noble implies moral eminence and freedom from anything petty, mean, or dubious in conduct and character. had the noblest of reasons for seeking office

Examples of noble in a Sentence

Adjective

He was a man of noble character. It was noble of her to come forward with this information.

Noun

an elite school for children of nobles
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

May the light shine from the torch of the Goddess of Liberty to inspire our citizens to good and noble deeds for the benefit of mankind. Thomas Graham, SFChronicle.com, "Walking these seven hills of San Francisco a peak experience," 28 June 2018 But when a woman stands upon the level of equality and attempts to lift this sort of admirer to her own noble plane, this champion quickly ...drops his mask of chivalry, and frowns upon her. Olivia Campbell, Smithsonian, "The Historical Struggle to Rid Socialism of Sexism," 12 July 2018 What started as a noble peace-making mission has turned into a trippy spectacle in which dozens of countries (43 this year) compete to prove who can put on the most flamboyant performance. USA TODAY, "Mother's Day, Iraqi election, Eurovision Song Contest, 5 things you need to know this weekend," 12 May 2018 Zuckerberg would like to characterize these scandals as unforeseen byproducts of an otherwise noble mission to make the world more open and connected. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Facebook’s Innocence Project," 10 Apr. 2018 Their work was noble and occasionally terrifying; white sharks are among the ocean’s most mysterious and misunderstood creatures. Susan Casey, Outside Online, "Susan Casey on Seeing Her First Great White Shark," 11 July 2018 Only the answer isn't contingent on what 'tis nobler in the mind. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "After all these years, we’re still Waiting for Godot," 30 May 2018 As noble as its history is, as lauded as LULAC has been for fighting discrimination and bias in the U.S. courtroom, as hardworking as its individual chapters are, with LULAC, there’s always something. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "LULAC disgraced president may prove difficult to unseat," 4 Feb. 2018 And then the ossified sculpture of Alabama is brought out, shiny, stoic, and noble, and broadcast nationally. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "Alabama’s History Haunts, But It Also Instructs," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Several frolicsome paintings, in a gallery papered with velvety purple wallpaper and devoted to amorous pursuits, exult in the erotic lives of gods and nobles. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "MFA’s ‘Casanova’ a voluptuous look at a notorious voluptuary," 6 July 2018 On January 19, 1348, Charles of Durazzo and Robert of Taranto led a procession of turncoat Neapolitan nobles into Aversa, just north of Naples, to greet their conquerors. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Joanna of Naples," 3 July 2018 Gibbons were often pets for nobles, the magazine says. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Extinct gibbon discovered in an ancient tomb. It might have been a pet.," 21 June 2018 That includes items such as armbands, necklaces, earrings, and nose plugs worn by Aztec rulers, priests, and nobles. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New study rethinks pre-Columbian turquoise trade," 14 June 2018 Edward III, having toppled the pair and asserted his own royal authority at age 17, sought to bind his nobles to him through the camaraderie of war, waged first against Scotland and, later, against the mightier realm of France. Stephen Brumwell, WSJ, "‘The Black Prince’ Review: When Knighthood Was in Flower," 6 June 2018 In the crypt, the child’s coffin rests near dozens of other wooden burial boxes, some of which held the bodies of Aragonese princes and Neapolitan nobles. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "A Mummified Child’s Remains Show Signs of a Modern Scourge," 5 Jan. 2018 While continuing to churn out royals and nobles and sons of oligarchs, the school has also become more meritocratic, bringing in students from a wider range of backgrounds. Anna Silman, The Cut, "What Was It Like to Go to School With Prince Harry?," 18 May 2018 For centuries, European royal families sought marriages with other nobles as a way to secure bloodlines and power. Petra Cahill /, NBC News, "Meghan Markle isn't the first: Here are some of the commoners who married British royalty," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'noble.' 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 noble

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for noble

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin nobilis well-known, noble, from noscere to come to know — more at know

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Statistics for noble

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for noble

The first known use of noble was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for noble

noble

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of noble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having, showing, or coming from personal qualities that people admire (such as honesty, generosity, courage, etc.)

: of, relating to, or belonging to the highest social class : of, relating to, or belonging to the nobility

: impressive in size or appearance

noble

noun

English Language Learners Definition of noble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is a member of the nobility

noble

adjective
no·​ble | \ˈnō-bəl \
nobler; noblest

Kids Definition of noble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having or showing very fine or admirable qualities a noble deed He was a noble person of courage and honesty.

2 : of very high birth or rank a noble lady

3 : grand in appearance a noble cathedral

Other Words from noble

nobleness noun
nobly \ -​blē \ adverb

noble

noun

Kids Definition of noble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person of high birth or rank

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Comments on noble

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