noblesse oblige was our Word of the Day on 06/06/2015. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of noblesse oblige in a Sentence
He was raised to have a strong sense of noblesse oblige.
noblesse oblige Has French Origins
In French, "noblesse oblige" means literally "nobility obligates." French speakers transformed the phrase into a noun, which English speakers picked up in the 19th century. Then, as now, "noblesse oblige" referred to the unwritten obligation of people from a noble ancestry to act honorably and generously to others. Later, by extension, it also came to refer to the obligation of anyone who is in a better position than others - due, for example, to high office or celebrity - to act respectably and responsibly.
Origin and Etymology of noblesse oblige
First Known Use: 1837See Words from the same year
NOBLESSE OBLIGE Defined for English Language Learners
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up noblesse oblige? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).