Definition of ennoble in English:



  • 1Give (someone) a noble rank or title.

    ‘they receive life baronies on appointment unless they are already ennobled’
    • ‘Installed at Versailles in 1745, she was ennobled as Marquise de Pompadour, and for 20 years swayed state policy, appointing her own favourites.’
    • ‘Meanwhile - long before any of his music appeared in print - he was ennobled and, in 1702, made Chevalier de l' Ordre de Latran.’
    • ‘Mountbatten's title was therefore a courtesy one until he was ennobled in 1946 as Viscount Mountbatten of Burma.’
    • ‘When he was ennobled in 1964, someone remarked he should take the title Lord Corridor of Power.’
    • ‘He was ennobled in 1774 and put in charge of irregular forces.’
    • ‘The family was ennobled and, in 1546 attained a peak of prosperity.’
    • ‘He was ennobled by the Emperor of Austria, allowing him to use the honorific ‘Ritter von’ before his surname.’
    • ‘Princess Carissa would marry him at a private assembly afterwards, as soon as the new King publicly ennobled him.’
    • ‘It has been estimated that in the period 1774 to 1789, a total of 2,477 men were ennobled, and the numbers, if anything, were rising slightly directly before the Revolution.’
    • ‘For Black, the high point of his life's work came in 2001 when he was ennobled after renouncing his Canadian citizenship.’
    • ‘Piranesi was very much of the artisan class, although he was ennobled by the Pope in 1767.’
    • ‘Only after two years' delay was her favourite admitted to the Privy Council, and he was not ennobled as Earl of Leicester until 1564.’
    elevate to the nobility, elevate to the peerage, raise to the nobility, raise to the peerage, create someone a noble, make someone a noble
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  • 2Lend greater dignity or nobility of character to.

    ‘the theatre is a moral instrument to ennoble the mind’
    • ‘Also, speaking from personal experience, following the teachings and example of Jesus Christ has had an ennobling effect on my character.’
    • ‘And what they went through and what they suffered kind of ennobles us all.’
    • ‘Most religions and some of the more grouchy philosophers teach that suffering ennobles us - it makes us better people.’
    • ‘In its subject matter as well as its method, physics ennobles the mind by directing it to the permanent order of the world.’
    • ‘But given a chance to become a habit, the exhilarating experience of freedom enriches and ennobles people.’
    • ‘We know that neither success nor suffering ennobles people.’
    • ‘We live by telling our own story, and that story can either ennoble us or demean us.’
    • ‘For some this preventive action has an equivalent moral authority to the great campaigns for civic reform which ennobled the twentieth century throughout the world.’
    • ‘To walk on another world, or even to make the attempt, would ennoble every member of the human race.’
    • ‘I can also urge you to live now in the knowledge that your son's passing ennobles our nation, just as I trust it will now ennoble you.’
    • ‘It still gratifies us today to read George Orwell: we feel ennobled by him.’
    • ‘Dedicated in 1921 as a monument to World War I's common soldier, the Tomb ennobles the common people of a democratic society.’
    • ‘But cultured Germans did believe that art ennobled a people, and I would like to believe it too.’
    dignify, honour, bestow honour on, exalt, elevate, raise, enhance, add distinction to, add dignity to, distinguish, add lustre to
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Late 15th century (formerly also as innoble): from French ennoblir, from en- (expressing a change of state) + noble ‘noble’.