Definition of nobility in English:


Line breaks: no¦bil|ity
Pronunciation: /nə(ʊ)ˈbɪlɪti

noun (plural nobilities)

[mass noun]
  • 2The quality of belonging to the aristocracy: after 1722 nobility was only acquired by service in the army or bureaucracy
    More example sentences
    • In Russia the equation of nobility and service was quite explicit: after 1722 nobility was only acquired by service in the army or bureaucracy.
    • The great ministerial dynasties, and many of the most dynamic servants of the Bourbon monarchy, acquired nobility through the purchase of office.
    • In France noble privileges were all swept away in 1789 and hereditary nobility itself was abolished in 1790.
  • 2.1 (usually the nobility) The group of people belonging to the highest social class in a country; the aristocracy: a member of the English nobility
    More example sentences
    • Around this castle were the smaller houses of lesser nobility and the members of court.
    • Instead, they were answerable to a complex of hereditary or franchise jurisdictions in the hands of the feudal nobility.
    • The night of 4 August also transformed the character of the French nobility.
    aristocracy, aristocrats, lords, ladies, peerage, peers, peers of the realm, peeresses, nobles, noblemen, noblewomen, titled men/women/people, members of the aristocracy/nobility/peerage, patricians
    informal aristos
    British informal nobs


late Middle English: from Old French nobilite or Latin nobilitas, from nobilis 'noted, high-born' (see noble).

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