- distinguished by rank or title.
- pertaining to persons so distinguished.
- of, belonging to, or constituting a hereditary class that has special social or political status in a country or state; of or pertaining to the aristocracy.
- of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence: a noble thought.
- admirable in dignity of conception, manner of expression, execution, or composition: a noble poem.
- very impressive or imposing in appearance: a noble monument.
- of an admirably high quality; notably superior; excellent.
- famous; illustrious; renowned.
- Chemistry. inert; chemically inactive.
- Falconry. (of a hawk) having excellent qualities or abilities.
Origin of noble
Examples from the Web for noble
The skateboarder is as irredeemably evil as the others are noble.The 2014 Novel of the Year
December 29, 2014
If the noble experiment of American democracy is to mean anything, it is fidelity to the principle of freedom.The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation To Terror
December 19, 2014
And the string of episodes that aired before that were gripping, noble, and simply entertaining to watch.'The Newsroom' Ended As It Began: Weird, Controversial, and Noble
December 15, 2014
It creates a cynicism in us that is not the most noble of things to dwell upon.Ron Perlman's Secret Suicide Attempt
October 28, 2014
The Nobel committee said he was continuing in the noble tradition of Mahatma Gandhi.Malala Yousafzai Is the Youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner in History
October 10, 2014
And of necessity, even the noble have their moments of deshabille.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Often he cursed himself as a wretch for paining that pure and noble heart.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Above all, our noble jester succeeds in his mission of laugh-producing.The Dramatic Values in Plautus
Wilton Wallace Blancke
"I give not the pip of an apple for king or for noble," cried the serf passionately.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
We must cultivate the noble virtues that have their root in pride.A Treatise on Parents and Children
George Bernard Shaw
- of or relating to a hereditary class with special social or political status, often derived from a feudal period
- of or characterized by high moral qualities; magnanimousa noble deed
- having dignity or eminence; illustrious
- grand or imposing; magnificenta noble avenue of trees
- of superior quality or kind; excellenta noble strain of horses
- (of certain elements) chemically unreactive
- (of certain metals, esp copper, silver, and gold) resisting oxidation
- designating long-winged falcons that capture their quarry by stooping on it from aboveCompare ignoble
- designating the type of quarry appropriate to a particular species of falcon
- a person belonging to a privileged social or political class whose status is usually indicated by a title conferred by sovereign authority or descent
- (in the British Isles) a person holding the title of duke, marquess, earl, viscount, or baron, or a feminine equivalent
- a former Brit gold coin having the value of one third of a pound
Word Origin and History for noble
c.1200, "illustrious, distinguished; worthy of honor or respect," from Old French noble "of noble bearing or birth," from Latin nobilis "well-known, famous, renowned; excellent, superior, splendid; high-born, of superior birth," earlier *gnobilis, literally "knowable," from gnoscere "to come to know," from PIE root *gno- "to know" (see know). The prominent Roman families, which were "well known," provided most of the Republic's public officials.
Meaning "distinguished by rank, title, or birth" is first recorded late 13c. Sense of "having lofty character, having high moral qualities" is from c.1600. A noble gas (1902) is so called for its inactivity or intertness; a use of the word that had been applied in Middle English to precious stones, metals, etc., of similar quality (late 14c.), from the sense of "having admirable properties" (c.1300).
"man of rank," c.1300, from noble (adj.). The same noun sense also is in Old French and Latin. Late 14c. as the name of an English coin first issued in reign of Edward III.