Definition of nabob in English:



  • 1historical A Muslim official or governor under the Mogul empire.

  • 2A person of conspicuous wealth or high status.

    • ‘Six years in India, painting nabobs and rajas, restored his fortunes.’
    • ‘Callers range from the imperious to the crawling, from the famous (represented by their minions) to the social climbers, from nabobs to Mafiosi.’
    • ‘They were defended as affording opportunities for new non-landed interests - brewers, bankers, nabobs - to obtain representation.’
    • ‘The most endangered predators he meets are Indian lions, which were once protected by Indian nabobs but now threaten local livestock and compete with the populace for scarce resources.’
    • ‘She is his insurance beneficiary; the rest of the nabob's once substantial wealth has mysteriously evaporated.’
    • ‘It's a good thing the young'uns have scared the nasty nabobs that run the labels with their high jinks.’
    • ‘For the next eight years he ceased to exhibit and lived the life of a nabob in Cairo.’
    • ‘She is happily married to an Irish nabob, Eamon, whose Midas touch makes even his goyishness forgivable.’
    • ‘It may be true that there are among Buddhist mendicants, living on alms in dirt and penury, some who feel perfectly happy and do not envy any nabob.’
    • ‘The Natchez nabob bought government bonds that yielded an annual income of $12,600 in the late 1850s.’
    • ‘‘One would expect such deportment from scalawags, but not you noble nabobs of Wall Street,’ wrote Cannell.’
    • ‘It dawned on me that all the friends I had made, all two of them, were nabobs, and both had magnanimity.’
    • ‘Or rather the network nabobs think they appreciate him, but he's crossed the pond twice to discuss a possible career-making TV deal, to no avail.’
    • ‘Hager is an Asburian nabob; his elderly father is a past president of the college, and Hager himself currently sits on his alma mater's board of trustees.’
    • ‘Despite what the funding nabobs think, the works that define our film culture to the world outside are the ones that are the most unorthodox.’
    • ‘Now that the series has been pencilled in for another 10 years, perhaps the GAA nabobs might consider giving the manager's job to the one man who deserves it the most.’
    • ‘He died in 1790, having made a living as a government propagandist and a fortune as agent of the nabob of Arcot.’
    very rich person, tycoon, magnate, millionaire, billionaire, multimillionaire, plutocrat
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    1. 2.1historical A person who returned from India to Europe with a fortune.
      • ‘This is nonetheless the India of economic potential, the place where the fortunes of adventurous nabobs were made.’
      • ‘Visram explains, ‘Indian servants were a symbol of the exalted status of the newly enriched India returned nabob.’’


From Portuguese nababo or Spanish nabab, from Urdu; see also nawab.