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noblesse oblige

[noh-bles oh-bleezh; French naw-bles aw-bleezh]
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noun
  1. the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity, etc.

Origin of noblesse oblige

1830–40; < French: literally, nobility obliges
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for noblesse oblige

noblesse oblige

noun
  1. often ironic the supposed obligation of nobility to be honourable and generous

Word Origin

French, literally: nobility obliges
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

noblesse oblige in Culture

noblesse oblige

[(noh-bles oh-bleezh)]

The belief that the wealthy and privileged are obliged to help those less fortunate. From French, meaning “nobility obligates.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.