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



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


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


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 May God be with every member of the United Nations Organization, and through your noble efforts bring lasting peace to us all — all over the world. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "5 New York Buildings That Changed American History," 31 Oct. 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn't work in the same way, his softer style on management is far less abrasive than his predecessor, but Wenger was always heralded for taking the blame away from his stars in a noble effort to protect them from the media., "8 Reasons Why Arsene Wenger Managing Man Utd Would Be Football's Dream – Even if it's Not His," 26 Sep. 2019 The reasons for requiring in-person activation are noble., "Rhode Island’s sportsbooks had their most profitable month ever in September, but industry analysts say the state could have made even more money if officials walked back a requirement that individuals activate the mobile betting app in person at Twin River’s two casinos.," 5 Nov. 2019 These goals are critical and the ideals are noble—who doesn’t want to stop climate change? Wired, "Trying to Plant a Trillion Trees Won't Solve Anything," 25 Oct. 2019 On another outing, cruisers visit Château de Commarin, owned by the same noble family for 26 generations. Janice Wald Henderson, Condé Nast Traveler, "Cruise Like a Royal: 5 Itineraries Where You Can Visit Castles and Hang Out With Nobility," 17 Sep. 2019 The law's original intent—to shine a spotlight on malign bot activity and to increase public awareness—is noble. Renee Diresta, WIRED, "A New Law Makes Bots Identify Themselves—That's the Problem," 24 July 2019 Many of Spain’s noble families were closely related, which had led to power struggles in the past. National Geographic, "To seize power in Spain, Queen Isabella had to play it smart," 28 Mar. 2019 Indeed, the two-story 15,750-square-foot museum opened to much pomp and pride and has since been a noble homage to the city’s role in Negro League baseball’s vital history. Roy S. Johnson, al, "Johnson: Who whiffed on Negro Southern League League Museum construction?," 15 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With the Christmas holidays approaching quickly, the Dayton Fine Arts Department invites patrons to step back into the middle eastern city of Agrabah, diverse, full of nobles, misfits, and a few villains. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Dayton HS fine arts to present Disney’s Aladdin Dec. 6-7," 25 Nov. 2019 The exhibition’s catalogue underscores the point by quoting European nobles who begged the artist and designer for examples of his drawings, to no avail. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Michelangelo’s genius revealed in ‘Mind of the Master’ at Cleveland Museum of Art," 22 Sep. 2019 The quest for grand portraits is not a new concept, of course; medieval nobles commissioned the best artists to depict their power and wealth., "Instagram Husbands: The social media mates who bring it all together - The Boston Globe," 5 Nov. 2019 An English commoner dons the armor of a dead jouster and, with the help of friends, competes against nobles in 14th-century France. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019," 22 Sep. 2019 The French have a long and ambiguous link to their forests, a source of conflict during the revolution in the eighteenth century between nobles and peasants seeking firewood and land for grazing. The Economist, "Why France’s forests are getting bigger," 18 July 2019 An English commoner dons the armor of a dead jouster and, with the help of friends, competes against nobles in 14th-century France. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 The vestiges of British rule and Irish nobles, forts and castles, dot the landscape, along with stone dolmens, built thousands of years ago, but for what purpose and how remains a mystery. New York Times, "Chasing Waves on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way," 12 Aug. 2019 Polish nobles and a visiting Nobel laureate are among the noteworthy figures tied to the long history of a hilltop manor that has come on the market in a village west of Krakow. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Polish Home’s Noble History," 15 May 2019

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


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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for noble

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Noble.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for noble


How to pronounce noble (audio)

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



English Language Learners Definition of noble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is a member of the nobility


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on noble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for noble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with noble

Spanish Central: Translation of noble

Nglish: Translation of noble for Spanish Speakers

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

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