Definition of noble in English:

noble

adjectivenoblest, nobler

  • 1Belonging by rank, title, or birth to the aristocracy.

    ‘the medieval palace was once owned by a noble Florentine family’
    ‘the Duchess of Kent and several other noble ladies’
    • ‘The new privileges belong to ‘preferred minorities’ rather than noble families.’
    • ‘His mother came from a noble family but he refused to use a title of nobility in front of his name as requested by his mother.’
    • ‘She's not meek, like most noble ladies are trained to be.’
    • ‘If you have the goal of being born into a noble family in your future life, surrounded by wealth and luxury and by many beautiful forms, it is possible that this aim might be fulfilled because of the effect of the practice.’
    • ‘Born into a noble family, he held several official positions in Paris before his connection with the Duke of Orléans allowed him to take up composing.’
    • ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was born in a noble family at Delhi on October 17, 1817.’
    • ‘Those who were noble, titled, in their own right, she would have no choice but to accept their presence at court.’
    • ‘Born into a noble family, Neroccio was one of the most able artists of late 15th-century Siena.’
    • ‘Families knew that their successful integration into the noble ranks of society rested on their lineage being recognized as worthy.’
    • ‘It was none of their business if I was born of a noble family or whatever.’
    • ‘She pulled a necklace that belonged to the noble family from her pocket and threw it on the ground.’
    aristocratic, noble-born, of noble birth, titled, patrician, blue-blooded, high-born, well born
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  • 2Having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles.

    ‘the promotion of human rights was a noble aspiration’
    • ‘Sometimes Western rulers and apologists dress up intervention in the Middle East with talk of more noble causes.’
    • ‘Her generation of Irish people knew all about sacrifice and were a noble people with a fine sense of community and idealism.’
    • ‘A fine noble gentleman, honest and upright, he gained the respect of everybody.’
    • ‘While this may sound noble, they can't seriously think this will be effective.’
    • ‘Sadly, this plan is riddled with problems, no matter how noble it sounds.’
    • ‘It was a good thing that Allan had the true noble morals and the principles which prevented him from ever taking advantage of Chase's loyalty.’
    • ‘That's a fine and noble mission, and certainly warrants some form of applause.’
    • ‘How can one person, no matter how noble, confess the sins of another?’
    • ‘"You don't have to be so noble, Toby, " I replied.’
    • ‘His intentions in this formation, he said, had been noble at first.’
    • ‘Tragedy is a story or play that has a significant conflict of morals, with a noble protagonist displaying a tragic flaw that is their strength but leads to their downfall.’
    • ‘Granted, I was now on the right side of the Iron Curtain, where the reasons for conducting propaganda were more noble, but the principles remained the same.’
    • ‘Kate was a lady imbued with many fine and noble qualities.’
    • ‘The President's Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative is certainly a noble goal in principle.’
    • ‘No matter how noble your intentions, your upbringing shows true.’
    • ‘Can there be a more noble, unselfish profession?’
    • ‘A revolution was carried out, on the basis of the noblest social ideals.’
    • ‘The only blemish on such noble intentions was the absence yesterday of ordinary people.’
    • ‘I cut him short and moved on to say that neither self-hatred nor envy were good reasons to strive to improve oneself and that ambition was a fine and noble thing when seen as part of a quest for perfection, for its own sake.’
    • ‘This personal contact also reminds the student that he or she is part of a larger effort to mobilize the American people for noble intellectual and moral causes.’
    righteous, virtuous, good, honourable, honest, upright, upstanding, decent, worthy, noble-minded, uncorrupted, anti-corruption, moral, ethical, reputable, magnanimous, unselfish, generous, self-sacrificing, brave
    lofty, exalted, elevated, grand, sublime, imposing
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    1. 2.1 Of imposing or magnificent size or appearance.
      ‘noble arches and massive granite columns’
      ‘there is nothing more noble than a mature pine forest’
      • ‘We threaded through the side streets, slowing to pay respect to old grand churches and noble bungalows.’
      • ‘Now defiled with graffiti, this noble monument may be as much of a tribute as we'll get for a depression-era Edmonton history; perhaps it's fitting.’
      magnificent, splendid, grand, stately, imposing, dignified, distinguished, proud, striking, impressive, majestic, glorious, marvellous, awe-inspiring, awesome, monumental, palatial, statuesque, heroic
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    2. 2.2 Of excellent or superior quality.
      ‘Chardonnay is the noble grape from which some of the finest white wines are produced’
      • ‘But salvation is now at hand for lovers of the noble grape who previously had no option but to pour away their expensive and lovingly laid-down bottles.’
      • ‘Such brandies are distinctive, often noble, and almost always underrated.’
      • ‘If you have been disappointed by bottles bearing such names, do not blame Reisling - it has nothing whatsoever to do with this noble grape.’
      • ‘I am still yet to be convinced that Argentinian Malbec is one of the great wines of the world, or the Malbec is a truly noble grape variety.’
      • ‘The Riesling renaissance started years ago, yet most British drinkers remain curiously indifferent to this noble grape's charms.’
      • ‘Which is a shame, because although I am not yet convinced that Malbec is a noble grape variety, Syrah definitely is.’
      • ‘The valiant one and his noble steed hiked up to the hill where the castle was.’
      • ‘He conceded that persuading customers to back the noble Riesling grape would not be the easiest thing Tesco had ever done, but he was confident.’
      • ‘The courageous protagonist ventured slightly from the kingdom, reaching for his noble steed.’
      excellent, splendid, marvellous, magnificent, superb, fine, wonderful, exceptional, formidable, sublime, prime, first-class, first-rate, high-grade, grade a, superior, supreme, flawless, choice, select, finest, superlative, model
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noun

  • 1(especially in former times) a person of noble rank or birth.

    ‘the greater a noble's military power, the more land he could control’
    ‘the king imposed a tax on both nobles and peasants’
    • ‘The following day a page approached Jacques with a contract from the young nobles.’
    • ‘Since it was the day after the great ball, all the suitors and nobles with rank were still sleeping.’
    • ‘Most Scottish nobles took the attitude of wait and see.’
    • ‘They have connections with all the nobles who resent my power and my politics.’
    • ‘Calvinism found support from the lower classes, lesser nobles and town leaders.’
    • ‘It began to fill with peasants and nobles, mourning for those who had fallen in battle all that way from home.’
    • ‘One can detect this same attitude in almost all the odes addressed to great nobles, including Louis XIII.’
    • ‘Most nobles were offended by peasants attempting to act higher class than they truly were.’
    • ‘After all, there are many wealthy nobles who wed at Camelot, and there are many tournaments.’
    • ‘There were more young nobles wandering around holding those green pieces of paper.’
    • ‘The next morning riders were sent out to call the minor nobles of the west to arms.’
    • ‘The castles of the rebellious barons were razed and the nobles never challenged the duke's power again.’
    • ‘It was said he could pick out a noble from a peasant in a room, even if they were all dressed in the finest robes of state.’
    • ‘Macduff is a Scottish noble who suspects that Macbeth has murdered Duncan from the very beginning.’
    • ‘The great nobles essentially use poets and poetry in the early seventeenth century to wage a war of prestige.’
    • ‘You believe I am lying about my marriage to an English noble.’
    • ‘They were disgusted by the manipulation of recent changes in favour of the Manchu nobles.’
    • ‘In Austria there were major and minor nobles, small farmers who were freemen, indentured farmers and serfs.’
    • ‘The great nobles of Europe, however, the kings and dukes and so on, were not there.’
    • ‘She was walking her highest ranked nobles in front of her and her ladies in waiting behind.’
    aristocrat, nobleman, noblewoman, lord, lady, peer, peeress, peer of the realm, patrician, titled man, titled person, titled woman
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  • 2historical A former English gold coin first issued in 1351.

Phrases

  • the noble art (or science)(of self-defence)

    • archaic Boxing.

      • ‘Is this a good one, maybe I will get a title shot for the Belgium Title, if not I'll do a last fight in July for charity and then become a trainer and teach the youngsters here in Thailand the noble art of boxing.’
      • ‘Boxing is known as the noble art of self defence and that's what Michael portrays.’
      • ‘He never won the world title - his only defeats were at the final pinnacle - but like so many practitioners of the noble art he was a warrior in the truest sense.’
      • ‘For the purist, the noble art of self-defence remains the father of all contact sports.’
      • ‘Boxing may be called the noble art but one doesn't normally associate heavyweight boxers with an artistic pursuit.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French, from Latin ( g)nobilis ‘noted, high-born’, from an Indo-European root shared by know.

Pronunciation

noble

/ˈnəʊb(ə)l/