Definitions for noblesse obligenoʊˈblɛs oʊˈbliʒ
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word noblesse oblige
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
no•blesse o•bligenoʊˈblɛs oʊˈbliʒ(n.)
the moral obligation of the rich or highborn to display honorable and generous conduct.
Origin of noblesse oblige:
1830–40; < F: lit., nobility obliges
the obligation of those of high rank to be honorable and generous (often used ironically)
The honourable obligation that is the responsibility of those of high rank; in American English this often includes the expectation of benevolent actions such as helping those less fortunate.
Noblesse oblige is a French phrase literally meaning "nobility obliges". The Dictionnaire de l’Académie française defines it thus: ⁕Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly. ⁕ One must act in a fashion that conforms to one's position, and with the reputation that one has earned. The Oxford English Dictionary says that the term "suggests noble ancestry constrains to honorable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility." Being a noble meant that one had responsibilities to lead, manage and so on. One was not to simply spend one's time in idle pursuits.
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"noblesse oblige." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 7 Mar. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/noblesse oblige>.