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

Other Words from noble


nobleness \ ˈnō-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce noble (audio) \ noun
nobly \ ˈnō-​blē How to pronounce noble (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
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Your resolution to grow more financially fit is noble, responsible and, in the long term, supremely wise. Etta Money, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2022 Elmyr de Hory, the most notorious forger of the twentieth century, was our very own Vito Corleone: the first person to transform the criminal experience into something complex, noble, and heroic. Thomas Bunstead, Harper’s Magazine , 18 Jan. 2022 Was the better artist equally prone to typecasting, equally blind to the actual human being, even if the resulting image is seemingly more noble? Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 Our instinct to keep our memory of the dead alive is noble. Nr Editors, National Review, 31 Mar. 2022 Yes, how Millar has conducted himself has been noble — and frankly how all men should naturally behave in a relationship. Alicia Vrajlal,, 27 Mar. 2022 The issue was flagged because of a buildup of noble gases in one of the reactors’ primary circuits. Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, 15 June 2021 During its hourlong plunge, slowed by a parachute, its instruments will measure noble gases, especially xenon, to see whether the abundances match those on Earth, which could suggest a similar early history of water. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 9 June 2021 The spacecraft will then release its spherical probe that will plummet into Venus’ atmosphere for one hour, to measure noble gases and other elements, temperature and pressure. Gia Yetikyel, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The rebellion began in 1648, when an influential Cossack, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, saw his lands seized and his son attacked by a Polish noble. Timothy Snyder, The New Yorker, 28 Apr. 2022 Researchers speculate the silver seal may have been owned by a noble who was unaware it was set with a Roman gem. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 May 2021 That colonial label came from the same English noble—Thomas West of Wherwell, the third Baron De La Warr—whose name the English also stuck on a big river and a small colony, by its mouth, that later became a state. Joshua Jelly-schapiro, The New Yorker, 13 Apr. 2021 Margaret was removed from power and forced into exile while John Stewart, the Duke of Albany—a pro-French, anti-England noble favored by Parliament, who also happened to be Margaret's late husband's cousin—took over as regent for her son, James V. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, 9 Oct. 2020 Menlo Castle Menlo Castle in western Ireland was built in the 16th century as an estate for the Blake family of English nobles. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Mar. 2020 Also on this day: 44 B.C.: Julius Caesar is assassinated by a group of nobles that included Brutus and Cassius. Fox News, 15 Mar. 2020 This is partly because the country is a historical fusion of small states and cities that were once run by princes and nobles, all determined to prove their cultural prowess. Catherine Hickley, New York Times, 10 Jan. 2020 Some researchers say the events of 378 may have been a more limited case of palace intrigue, with the nobles of one powerful region elbowing their way into the politics of another. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, 27 Feb. 2020 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near noble

nobiscum Deus


noble art

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Noble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for noble


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

More from Merriam-Webster on noble

Nglish: Translation of noble for Spanish Speakers

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


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