• synonyms


noun literary
  1. noble birth or condition
  2. the noble class
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French; see 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

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Word Origin and History for noblesse


early 13c., "noble birth or condition," from Old French noblece "noble birth, splendor, magnificence" (Modern French noblesse), from Vulgar Latin *nobilitia, from Latin nobilis (see noble (adj.)). French phrase noblesse oblige "privilege entails responsibility" is attested in English first in 1837.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper