noblesse oblige

[noh-bles oh-bleezh; French naw-bles aw-bleezh]
noun
  1. the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity, etc.

Origin of noblesse oblige

1830–40; < French: literally, nobility obliges
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for noblesse oblige

noblesse oblige

noun
  1. often ironic the supposed obligation of nobility to be honourable and generous

Word Origin for noblesse oblige

French, literally: nobility obliges
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

noblesse oblige in Culture

noblesse oblige

[(noh-bles oh-bleezh)]

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.