noble

adjective
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

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 How to pronounce nobleness (audio) \ noun
nobly \ ˈnō-​blē How to pronounce nobly (audio) 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

The trades are one of the most noble career choices that any individual can make. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Become a Skilled Tradesperson," 13 Mar. 2019 The most noble or most charming or qualified doesn’t necessarily win in such a scrum; only the one who manages to muster, by hook or crook or major TV advertising, 20 percent of the vote or so. Maria Panaritis, Philly.com, "Ten's a crowd in Pa.'s Fifth Congressional District primary | Maria Panaritis," 2 May 2018 Netscape Rising That approach sounds smart, even noble. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Later, Navigator: How Netscape Won and Then Lost the World Wide Web," 4 Apr. 2019 Unlike camping, with its long and noble tradition of nature lovers who rough it with the intention of getting away from civilization, glamping is about bringing civilization into the wild. Cheryl Strayed, Vogue, "Is Glamping Camping? Wild’s Cheryl Strayed Tackles the Question—in Style," 17 July 2018 As is always the case in male-driven fantasies like this, an ordinary man rises, just and noble and true, and transforms into a hero. New York Times, "Review: In ‘Skyscraper,’ Dwayne Johnson Scales a Tower of Clichés," 11 July 2018 When did the noble interior wall, a necessary structural element and blessed provider of privacy—not to mention shelf and art hanging space—become the enemy? Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Please Stop With the Open Floor Plans," 28 Feb. 2019 Aristocratic and born to rule, Aragorn is inherently noble, and brings stability and unity to his realm mainly by possessing heroic qualities. Aja Romano, Vox, "In the era of Trump and apocalyptic change, Hopepunk is a storytelling template for #resistance — and hanging onto your humanity at all costs.," 27 Dec. 2018 Cathay Pacific Airlines is doing the noble thing and owning up to the mistake, which saw tickets for the business class journey priced at $675 rather than its usual $16,000 price. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Airline Prices $16,000 Luxury Flight at $675 After 'Ticketing Error' on New Year's Day," 2 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Children of nobles are allowed to use one of their father’s lesser titles (Harry’s primary title is Duke) as a courtesy. Vogue, "Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Son, Archie, Doesn’t Have a Royal Title," 16 May 2019 The men — nobles, cavalry and foot soldiers — are dressed in knee-length tunics. Washington Post, "France’s epic Bayeux Tapestry is headed to Britain, in a loan for the ages," 18 Jan. 2018 But Americans compensated for the vacuum created by monarchs and nobles by inventing a cornucopia of private, voluntary associations. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "America Was Always an Exceptional Nation, but Is It Still?," 23 Nov. 2018 From time out of mind, human societies had organized as hierarchies—pyramids with kings at the top, nobles in the middle, and commoners on the bottom. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "America Was Always an Exceptional Nation, but Is It Still?," 23 Nov. 2018 Even without relying on the typical nobles, kings and Catholic Church as patrons, Dutch artists still did just fine. Rick Steves' Europe, The Seattle Times, "Specialized tours enrich travel," 14 Nov. 2018 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

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

5 May 2019

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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 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

noble

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with noble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for noble

Spanish Central: Translation of noble

Nglish: Translation of noble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of noble for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about noble

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