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

But the horse, a noble animal obedient to one’s hands and legs, only receives a pat on the back. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Fear, glory for Spain’s mounted bullfighters," 9 July 2019 Yet when the black characters are universally uplifting and noble, when their conflicts do not rise above June’s rejection of a suitor’s hand some 24 times, the intended beneficiaries of all this admiration are at the same time drained of drama. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ Is a Musical Lacking a Sting," 13 June 2019 Just to be clear, my argument isn’t that politics is always noble, or that there isn’t a dark underside that exists. Nr Interview, National Review, "A Political Renewal?," 11 June 2019 The official Survivor Instagram account then uploaded a series of photos showing the before and afters of Joe's noble haircut. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Survivor' Star Joe Anglim Is Unrecognizable After Chopping Off His Hair," 27 May 2019 There were a lot of really noble principles underlying the structural flaws that exist today. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Data for Democracy policy head Renée DiResta answers disinformation questions on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 14 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The idea is that this resembles the way medieval Dutch nobles and farmers haggled over maintaining the dikes and canals that kept their polders above water—and over how to split the bill. The Economist, "Costly climate measures are hard to sell, but the Netherlands has a plan," 9 July 2019 Just as oligarchy was government by a few powerful nobles, oligopoly is a market dominated by a few powerful businesses, usually corporations. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Playing monopoly is more than just rolling the dice," 16 June 2019 The White House is an imperial court, with Trump as fickle monarch and everyone else befuddled nobles trying to respond to his whims. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is There a Right Way to Cover the Trump White House?," 6 June 2019 Wari nobles polished off their chicha and threw their prized drinking cups into the flames. Megan Gannon, National Geographic, "'Beer diplomacy' practiced in ancient empire’s dying days, artifacts reveal," 18 Apr. 2019 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

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

14 Jul 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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