noble savage


noun

(in romanticism) an idealized view of primitive man

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Cultural definitions for noble savage

noble savage

Someone who belongs to an “uncivilized” group or tribe and is considered to be, consequently, more worthy than people who live within civilization. Many writers and thinkers through the centuries of Western civilization have believed in the noble savage. The expression is particularly associated with Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

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.