noble savage

noun

Definition of noble savage

: a mythic conception of people belonging to non-European cultures as having innate natural simplicity and virtue uncorrupted by European civilization also : a person exemplifying this conception

Examples of noble savage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rather the novel presents Tarzan as Rousseau’s unspoiled child of nature, a literally noble savage free from the vices and corruption associated with advanced industrial society. Washington Post, "A look back at how Tarzan swung into immortality," 19 Aug. 2020 In this sense, he is cast as a modernizer, turning noble savages into solid citizens. James Marcus, The New Yorker, "What Is There to Love About Longfellow?," 1 June 2020 Whereas the book’s white characters are nuanced, Indian characters are reduced to dangerous adversaries or noble savages. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "Little House, Big Fans: These People Really, Really Love Laura Ingalls Wilder," 24 Aug. 2019 That’s the only yeti to be found in the script, except obliquely, perhaps, in its endorsement of Rousseau’s concept of the noble savage. Margaret Gray, latimes.com, "Review: At Rogue Machine, ‘Yeti’ lets loose their inner 12-year-old," 7 June 2019 That’s the only yeti to be found in the script, except obliquely, perhaps, in its endorsement of Rousseau’s concept of the noble savage. Margaret Gray, latimes.com, "Review: At Rogue Machine, ‘Yeti’ lets loose their inner 12-year-old," 7 June 2019

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

1670, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of noble savage was in 1670

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Cite this Entry

“Noble savage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/noble%20savage. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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