no·​ble | \ ˈnō-bəl How to pronounce noble (audio) \
nobler\ ˈnō-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce nobler (audio) \; noblest\ ˈnō-​b(ə-​)ləst How to pronounce noblest (audio) \

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 entry 3 sense 2a



Definition of noble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person of noble rank or birth
2 : an old English gold coin equivalent to 6 shillings and 8 pence

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Other Words from noble


nobleness \ ˈnō-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce nobleness (audio) \ noun
nobly \ ˈnō-​blē How to pronounce nobly (audio) also  -​bə-​lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for noble


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 Don’t get me wrong: Voting Trump out is a noble and critical goal for safeguarding our country. Lily Herman, Teen Vogue, "Trump Legacy on Courts, Climate Will Hurt the United States for Generations," 6 Feb. 2020 Nothing like finger food for teaching a noble and necessary lesson—and nothing could be better for the Super Bowl than a piled of golden-fried fish sticks. The Editors, Field & Stream, "The Ultimate Super Bowl Food Menu for Hunters and Anglers," 30 Jan. 2020 Like almost any tool, scraping can be used for noble or nefarious purposes. Louise Matsakis, Wired, "Scraping the Web Is a Powerful Tool. Clearview AI Abused It," 25 Jan. 2020 In the middle of what should have been a celebration of everything that makes college sports joyous and noble and pure, somebody had to ruin it. Mike Finger,, "In college football, a solution for a scandal," 18 Jan. 2020 The project drew on research in North Carolina and Washington state about root rot, a fungal-like disease that limits where Fraser and noble fir can be grown. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Needling question: Can science create a perfect Christmas tree?," 19 Dec. 2019 Many Western schooled Nigerians hold both simultaneously noble and degrading stereotypes of the men that this system produces. Hadiza Kere Abdulrahman, Quartz Africa, "The distorted narratives about Islamic schools deflect from ugly truths about Nigerian society," 17 Dec. 2019 The most common Christmas trees are the noble fir on the West Coast, primarily grown in Oregon and Washington, and the Fraser fir on the East Coast, primarily grown in North Carolina. Tim Meko, Washington Post, "Where Christmas trees come from," 12 Dec. 2019 In the case of Trump, our watchmen embraced any means necessary to reach the supposedly noble and popular ends of weakening or removing him. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Who Watches the Watchmen?," 5 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An English commoner dons the armor of a dead jouster and, with the help of friends, competes against nobles in 14th-century France. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019," 22 Sep. 2019 Both nobles are down-to-earth and yet undeniably regal; one of the two will greet guests and share the incredible love story of Princess Anita von Hohenberg’s great-grandparents. Janice Wald Henderson, Condé Nast Traveler, "Cruise Like a Royal: 5 Itineraries Where You Can Visit Castles and Hang Out With Nobility," 17 Sep. 2019 With the Christmas holidays approaching quickly, the Dayton Fine Arts Department invites patrons to step back into the middle eastern city of Agrabah, diverse, full of nobles, misfits, and a few villains. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Dayton HS fine arts to present Disney’s Aladdin Dec. 6-7," 25 Nov. 2019 The exhibition’s catalogue underscores the point by quoting European nobles who begged the artist and designer for examples of his drawings, to no avail. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Michelangelo’s genius revealed in ‘Mind of the Master’ at Cleveland Museum of Art," 22 Sep. 2019 The quest for grand portraits is not a new concept, of course; medieval nobles commissioned the best artists to depict their power and wealth., "Instagram Husbands: The social media mates who bring it all together - The Boston Globe," 5 Nov. 2019 An English commoner dons the armor of a dead jouster and, with the help of friends, competes against nobles in 14th-century France. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019," 22 Sep. 2019 The French have a long and ambiguous link to their forests, a source of conflict during the revolution in the eighteenth century between nobles and peasants seeking firewood and land for grazing. The Economist, "Why France’s forests are getting bigger," 18 July 2019 An English commoner dons the armor of a dead jouster and, with the help of friends, competes against nobles in 14th-century France. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019

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


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for noble


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

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Time Traveler for noble

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Noble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for noble


How to pronounce noble (audio)

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



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

: a person who is a member of the nobility


no·​ble | \ ˈnō-bəl How to pronounce noble (audio) \
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



Kids Definition of noble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person of high birth or rank

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More from Merriam-Webster on noble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for noble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with noble

Spanish Central: Translation of noble

Nglish: Translation of noble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of noble for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about noble

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