the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity, etc.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use noblesse oblige in a sentence
In an update of Nancy Mitford's 'noblesse oblige', The Telegraph has this handy guide, entitled, “What type of RP do you speak?”
What if charity—giving out of love or noblesse oblige or religious commitment—doesn't go far enough?
Mitt Romney started off this campaign cycle as a noblesse oblige candidate.
Yet he saw in it no inconsistencies and, as men go (and as I have known them), the code had certain qualities of noblesse oblige.The Wasted Generation | Owen Johnson
It is the old noblesse oblige under new conditions of privilege.A Girl's Student Days and After | Jeannette Marks
When our credit played out there, Liverpool, whose stomach overshadowed his sensations of noblesse oblige, married Chica.Sixes and Sevens | O. Henry
But the courtly young Frenchman had quite as great a sense of noblesse oblige as his bride.Ruth Fielding on the St. Lawrence | Alice B. Emerson
The unhappy lady—perhaps by subtle operation of the principle noblesse oblige—retained some degree of vivacity.The Great Mogul | Louis Tracy
British Dictionary definitions for noblesse oblige
often ironic the supposed obligation of nobility to be honourable and generous
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
Cultural definitions for noblesse oblige
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.