nobility









nobility


noun, plural no·bil·i·ties.

  1. the noble class or the body of nobles in a country.
  2. (in Britain) the peerage.
  3. the state or quality of being noble.
  4. nobleness of mind, character, or spirit; exalted moral excellence.
  5. grandeur or magnificence.
  6. noble birth or rank.

noun plural -ties

  1. a socially or politically privileged class whose titles are conferred by descent or by royal decree
  2. the state or quality of being morally or spiritually good; dignitythe nobility of his mind
  3. (in the British Isles) the class of people holding the titles of dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, or barons and their feminine equivalents collectively; peerage

n.mid-14c., “quality of being excellent or rare,” from Old French nobilite “high rank; dignity, grace; great deed” (12c., Modern French nobilité), and directly from Latin nobilitatem (nominative nobilitas) “celebrity, fame; high birth; excellence, superiority; the nobles,” from nobilis “well-known, prominent” (see noble (adj.)). Meaning “quality of being of noble rank or birth” is attested from late 14c.; sense of “noble class collectively” is from 1520s.

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