What does nobility mean?

Definitions for nobility
noʊˈbɪl ɪ tino·bil·i·ty

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word nobility.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. nobility, aristocracynoun

    a privileged class holding hereditary titles

  2. nobility, nobleness, magnanimousness, grandeurnoun

    the quality of elevation of mind and exaltation of character or ideals or conduct

  3. nobility, noblessenoun

    the state of being of noble birth


  1. nobilitynoun

    A noble or privileged social class, historically accompanied by a hereditary title; aristocracy.

  2. nobilitynoun

    The quality of being noble.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Nobilitynoun

    Etymology: nobilitas, Latin.

    When I took up Giovanni Boccaccio unawares, I fell on the same argument of preferring virtue to nobility of blood, and titles, in the story of Sigismunda. John Dryden, Fab. Pref.

    Long galleries of ancestors,
    Challenge, nor wonder, or esteem from me,
    ``Virtue alone is true nobility. ’’ Dryden.

    It is a purpos’d thing,
    To curb the will of the nobility. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Though she hated Ampialus, yet the nobility of her courage prevailed over it; and she desired he might be pardoned that youthful errour; considering the reputation he had to be the best knight in the world; so as hereafter he governed himself, as one remembering his fault. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    But ah, my muse, I would thou hadst facility
    To work my goddess so by thy invention,
    On me to cast those eyes where shine nobility. Philip Sidney.

    Base men, being in love, have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to them. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    They thought it great their sov’reign to controul,
    And nam’d their pride, nobility of soul. Dryden.


  1. Nobility

    Nobility is a social class found in many societies that have an aristocracy. It is normally ranked immediately below royalty. Nobility has often been an estate of the realm with many exclusive functions and characteristics. The characteristics associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles or simply formal functions (e.g., precedence), and vary by country and by era. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is typically hereditary and patrilineal. Membership in the nobility has historically been granted by a monarch or government, and acquisition of sufficient power, wealth, ownerships, or royal favour has occasionally enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility.There are often a variety of ranks within the noble class. Legal recognition of nobility has been much more common in monarchies, but nobility also existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic (1581–1795), the Republic of Genoa (1005–1815), the Republic of Venice (697–1797), and the Old Swiss Confederacy (1300–1798), and remains part of the legal social structure of some small non-hereditary regimes, e.g., San Marino, and the Vatican City in Europe. In Classical Antiquity, the nobiles (nobles) of the Roman Republic were families descended from persons who had achieved the consulship. Those who belonged to the hereditary patrician families were nobles, but plebeians whose ancestors were consuls were also considered nobiles. In the Roman Empire, the nobility were descendants of this Republican aristocracy. While ancestry of contemporary noble families from ancient Roman nobility might technically be possible, no well-researched, historically-documented generation-by-generation genealogical descents from ancient Roman times are known to exist in Europe.Hereditary titles and styles added to names (such as "Prince", "Lord", or "Lady"), as well as honorifics, often distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations, most of the nobility have been untitled, and some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility (e.g., vidame). Some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom.


  1. nobility

    Nobility is a social class or group that is typically characterized by privileges, titles, or high social status, often inherited from one generation to another. This group traditionally obtains their status through a direct lineage of wealthy and powerful ancestors or as a grant from a monarch or other authority. Members of the nobility, also known as nobles, can include various ranks such as dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, and barons. Historically, they often held significant political power and lived privileged lifestyles, though their roles vary in modern societies.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Nobilitynoun

    the quality or state of being noble; superiority of mind or of character; commanding excellence; eminence

  2. Nobilitynoun

    the state of being of high rank or noble birth; patrician dignity; antiquity of family; distinction by rank, station, or title, whether inherited or conferred

  3. Nobilitynoun

    those who are noble; the collictive body of nobles or titled persons in a stste; the aristocratic and patrician class; the peerage; as, the English nobility

  4. Etymology: [L. nobilitas: cf. OF. nobilit. See Noble.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Nobility

    no-bil′i-ti, n. the quality of being noble: high rank: dignity: excellence: greatness of mind or character: antiquity of family: descent from noble ancestors: the persons holding the rank of nobles.—adj. Nobil′iary, pertaining to the nobility.—v.t. Nobil′itate, to ennoble.—n. Nobilitā′tion.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    A gang of foreign brigands having abducent designs on the American Damsel and the American Dollar.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of nobility in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of nobility in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of nobility in a Sentence

  1. Pope Francis:

    From the peak of Chimborazo (volcano) to the Pacific coast, from the Amazon rainforest to the Galapagos Islands, may you never lose the ability to thank God for what he has done and is doing for you, may you never lose the ability to protect what is small and simple, to care for your children and your elderly, to have confidence in the young, and to be constantly struck by the nobility of your people and the singular beauty of your country.

  2. Solon:

    Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.

  3. Camille Paglia:

    I believe that history has shape, order, and meaning that exceptional men, as much as economic forces, produce change and that passe abstractions like beauty, nobility, and greatness have a shifting but continuing validity.

  4. Laurence J. Peter:

    Real, constructive mental power lies in the creative thought that shapes your destiny, and your hour-by-hour mental conduct produces power for change in your life. Develop a train of thought on which to ride. The nobility of your life as well as your happiness depends upon the direction in which that train of thought is going.

  5. Friedrich Nietzsche:

    Every man has his price." This is not true. But for every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. To win over certain people to something, it is only necessary to give it a gloss of love of humanity, nobility, gentleness, self-sacrifice - and there is nothing you cannot get them to swallow. To their souls, these are the icing, the tidbit; other kinds of souls have others.

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Translations for nobility

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"nobility." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/nobility>.

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    clothing that is worn or carried, but not part of your main clothing
    A accessory
    B scrutiny
    C model
    D mediocrity

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