Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

nobility

[noh-bil-i-tee]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural no·bil·i·ties.
  1. the noble class or the body of nobles in a country.
  2. (in Britain) the peerage.
  3. the state or quality of being noble.
  4. nobleness of mind, character, or spirit; exalted moral excellence.
  5. grandeur or magnificence.
  6. noble birth or rank.

Origin of nobility

1350–1400; Middle English nobilite < Latin nōbilitās. See noble, -ity
Related formsnon·no·bil·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nobility

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Her woman's intuition was sufficient guarantee of the nobility of his character.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • There was in this man an Oriental nobility choked by Western fashion and customs.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Yet even in this environment of evil we see the nobility of the man, and his real self.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • Is it a good sign, that he wishes to see Royalty and Nobility?

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • My last was James Glencairn, so you can have no objection to the company of nobility.


British Dictionary definitions for nobility

nobility

noun plural -ties
  1. a socially or politically privileged class whose titles are conferred by descent or by royal decree
  2. the state or quality of being morally or spiritually good; dignitythe nobility of his mind
  3. (in the British Isles) the class of people holding the titles of dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, or barons and their feminine equivalents collectively; peerage
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 nobility

n.

mid-14c., "quality of being excellent or rare," from Old French nobilite "high rank; dignity, grace; great deed" (12c., Modern French nobilité), and directly from Latin nobilitatem (nominative nobilitas) "celebrity, fame; high birth; excellence, superiority; the nobles," from nobilis "well-known, prominent" (see noble (adj.)). Meaning "quality of being of noble rank or birth" is attested from late 14c.; sense of "noble class collectively" is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper