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ignoble

[ig-noh-buh l]
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adjective
  1. of low character, aims, etc.; mean; base: his ignoble purposes.
  2. of low grade or quality; inferior.
  3. not noble; of humble descent or rank.
  4. Falconry. noting any hawk with short wings that chases or rakes after the quarry.

Origin of ignoble

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin ignōbilis unknown, inglorious, equivalent to in- in-3 + OL gnōbilis (Latin nōbilis) noble
Related formsig·no·bil·i·ty, ig·no·ble·ness, nounig·no·bly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. degraded, dishonorable, ignominious, contemptible. 3. lowly, obscure, plebeian, peasant.

Antonyms

1. honorable. 2. superior.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ignobly

Historical Examples

  • Certainly no man ever fell so ignobly, and by such ignoble instruments, as I did.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • Never was warrior so ignobly driven or dragged from a field of victory.

  • I have said that Gilroy's parting warning rankled in his breast, but not ignobly.

  • And not only has it failed in its management, but it has failed deplorably, ignobly, horribly.

  • I was born to the position, but I served you proudly, not ignobly.

    Robert Tournay

    William Sage


British Dictionary definitions for ignobly

ignoble

adjective
  1. dishonourable; base; despicable
  2. of low birth or origins; humble; common
  3. of low quality; inferior
  4. falconry
    1. designating short-winged hawks that capture their quarry by swiftness and adroitness of flightCompare noble (def. 7)
    2. designating quarry which is inferior or unworthy of pursuit by a particular species of hawk or falcon
Derived Formsignobility or ignobleness, nounignobly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin ignōbilis, from in- 1 + Old Latin gnōbilis noble
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ignobly

ignoble

adj.

mid-15c., "of low birth," from Middle French ignoble, from Latin ignobilis "unknown, undistinguished, obscure; of base birth, not noble," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + gnobilis "well-known, famous, renowned, of superior birth" (see noble). Related: Ignobly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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