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Word of the Day
Saturday, February 11, 2017

Definitions for noblesse oblige

  1. the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity, etc.

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Citations for noblesse oblige
They're high-tech cocooners, utterly lacking in any sense of noblesse oblige. Even their machines are selfish. Walter Kirn, "Beat the Elite," New York, January 9, 1995
To his credit Jimmy knew how wealthy his family was. You might even say he possessed an overdeveloped sense of noblesse oblige, or he never would have volunteered to go to Afghanistan as an E4 enlisted man. Paul Doiron, The Bone Orchard, 2014
Origin of noblesse oblige
Honoré de Balzac uses the phrase noblesse oblige in his 1835 novel Le Lys dans la Vallée (The Lily of the Valley) and mentions that it was already old. The phrase entered English in the mid-19th century.