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[ney-bob] /ˈneɪ bɒb/
any very wealthy, influential, or powerful person.
Also, nawab. a person, especially a European, who has made a large fortune in India or another country of the East.
nawab (def 1).
Origin of nabob
From the Hindi word nawāb, dating back to 1605-15. See nawab
Related forms
[ney-bob-uh-ree, ney-bob-uh-ree] /ˈneɪ bɒb ə ri, neɪˈbɒb ə ri/ (Show IPA),
nabobism, noun
nabobish, nabobical, adjective
nabobishly, nabobically, adverb
nabobship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nabob
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • nabob's calculation is short, but "as rich as a nabob" in error.

    A Tangled Tale Lewis Carroll
  • His father, the brewer, died, and he became possessor of a nabob's fortune.

  • First of all, the nabob offered it to the heydukes one by one.

    A Hungarian Nabob Maurus Jkai
  • A great change had come over the nabob both externally and internally.

    A Hungarian Nabob Maurus Jkai
  • And thus he not only filled himself, but satisfied the nabob also.

    A Hungarian Nabob Maurus Jkai
  • And now the nabob lay down for another little snatch of slumber.

    A Hungarian Nabob Maurus Jkai
  • He had expected the nabob to be enraged, not rejoiced at the news.

    A Hungarian Nabob Maurus Jkai
  • She will be the light of the harem of a nabob with many tails.

    Life of Schamyl John Milton Mackie
  • For them, every rich foreigner is a nabob, no matter whence he comes.

    The Nabob Alphonse Daudet
British Dictionary definitions for nabob


(informal) a rich, powerful, or important man
(formerly) a European who made a fortune in the Orient, esp in India
another name for a nawab
Derived Forms
nabobery (ˈneɪbɒbərɪ; neɪˈbɒbərɪ), nabobism, noun
nabobish, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Portuguese nababo, from Hindi nawwāb; see nawab
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
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Word Origin and History for nabob

1610s, "deputy governor in Mogul Empire," Anglo-Indian, from Hindi nabab, from Arabic nuwwab, honorific plural of na'ib "viceroy, deputy," from base n-w-b "to take someone's place." Also used of Europeans who came home from India having made a fortune there, hence "very rich man" (1764).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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