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ignoble

[ig-noh-buhl]
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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.
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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 for ignoble

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Antonyms for ignoble

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ignoble

abject, base, coarse, common, contemptible, corrupt, craven, dastardly, degenerate, degraded, despicable, disgraceful, dishonorable, heinous, humble, infamous, inferior, lewd, low, mean

Examples from the Web for ignoble

Contemporary Examples of ignoble

Historical Examples of ignoble

  • Wrens and sparrows are not too ignoble a quarry for this villainous gos-hawk!

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • I remained there, amazed and confused by the insolence of this ignoble brute.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • And vulgar, ignoble farce was turned into a great historical drama.

  • We were agreed that parents should rule their children, the elder the younger, the noble the ignoble.

    Laws

    Plato

  • It may be an ignoble thing to lie, but with what other weapon was I to fight this brigand?

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini


British Dictionary definitions for ignoble

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
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Derived Formsignobility or ignobleness, nounignobly, adverb

Word Origin for ignoble

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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper