[ noh-bles oh-bleezh; French naw-bles aw-bleezh ]
/ noʊˈblɛs oʊˈbliʒ; French nɔˈblɛs ɔˈbliʒ /
the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity, etc.
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Let the aeolian gusts transport you back to these popular Words of the Day from the month of May. How many do you remember?
Question 1 of 10
Which of the following words means “to travel or journey, especially to walk on foot”?
Origin of noblesse oblige
1830–40; < French: literally, nobility obliges
Words nearby noblesse oblige
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for noblesse oblige
/ (nəʊˈblɛs əʊˈbliːʒ, French nɔblɛs ɔbliʒ) /
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
Cultural definitions for 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.