• synonyms


[ig-noh-buh l]
See more synonyms for ignoble on Thesaurus.com
  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


See more synonyms for ignoble on Thesaurus.com
1. degraded, dishonorable, ignominious, contemptible. 3. lowly, obscure, plebeian, peasant.


1. honorable. 2. superior.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ignobly

Historical Examples

  • Certainly no man ever fell so ignobly, and by such ignoble instruments, as I did.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • Never was warrior so ignobly driven or dragged from a field of victory.

  • I have said that Gilroy's parting warning rankled in his breast, but not ignobly.

  • And not only has it failed in its management, but it has failed deplorably, ignobly, horribly.

  • I was born to the position, but I served you proudly, not ignobly.

    Robert Tournay

    William Sage

British Dictionary definitions for ignobly


  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

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 ignobly



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