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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 The story of Naaman, a Syrian noble who suffered from leprosy, is an example of receptiveness to learning from others. Glenna Christensen, idahostatesman, "True meekness requires self-mastery and strength, and doesn't equate to weakness," 14 June 2018 No doubt the documentary has noble intentions, but its absurdly over-the-top, practically fetishistic approach undermines its very aims. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Trolley': Film Review | Hot Docs 2018," 14 May 2018 The family lived on the étage noble (second floor) of an 18th-century mansion in the rue de Vaugirard in Paris. Meryle Secrest, WSJ, "‘Double Vision’ Review: American Medicis," 5 Apr. 2018 And none of these things is less noble or gutsy than the other. Alice Bolin, Longreads, "The Daughter as Detective," 26 June 2018 Other than afford you the honor and privilege to serve alongside some of the most noble men and women that this city has to offer, how have you been mistreated? Monique Judge, The Root, "Black Firefighter Being Burned For Kneeling During the National Anthem," 6 June 2018 Other pardons were far less noble in form or effect. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Problem With Trump’s Pardons," 1 June 2018 The instinct behind this is noble: America is becoming more diverse and its future success depends on the acceptance of that. The Economist, "What’s left?To win back power, Democrats must do things that make them uncomfortable," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 There are some fetching rural lodgings here, too, particularly those run by Count Tibor Kálnoky, a tall and gracious 51-year-old from a clan of Hungarian nobles that was exiled during the Communist years. Christopher Bagley, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Bewitching Time Warp of Transylvania, Romania," 4 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about noble

Statistics for noble

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for noble

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on noble

What made you want to look up noble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!