Word of the Day : April 2, 2017

ignoble

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adjective ig-NOH-bul

Definition

1 : of low birth or common origin : plebeian

2 : characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness

Examples

"Luthor has been hanging around Superman's arctic fortress … devising plans for world dictatorship and other ignoble acts." — Kevin Canfield, The Journal News, 27 Jun. 2006

"Suburbs are sometimes portrayed as ignoble compared to cities, and media centers like New York and Washington attract young, pro-urban writers who trumpet their hometown virtues." — Tyler Cowen, The Bay City (Michigan) Times, 17 Oct. 2016



Did You Know?

The word noble, in addition to referring to someone born to aristocratic ranks, can also be used to describe someone of outstanding character. That word first appeared in English in the 13th century, and its antonym, ignoble, came about two centuries later. Ignoble derives via Middle English and Middle French from the Latin prefix in- ("not") and the Old Latin gnobilis ("noble"). Originally, ignoble described someone born to common or plebeian origins, but by the late 16th century it had come to describe people of dishonorable character, or the actions performed by such people.



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