Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A governor in India under the Mogul Empire. Also called nawab.
  • n. A person of wealth and prominence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An Indian ruler within the Mogul empire; a nawab.
  • n. Someone of great wealth or importance.
  • n. A person with a grandiose style or manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A deputy or viceroy in India; a governor of a province of the ancient Mogul empire.
  • n. One who returns to Europe from the East with immense riches: hence, any man of great wealth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A viceroy or governor of a province in India under the Mogul empire: as, the nabob of Oudh; the nabob of Surat. The nabob was, properly speaking, a subordinate provincial governor, who acted under a soubah or viceroy.
  • n. An honorary title occasionally conferred upon Mohammedans of distinction.
  • n. An Anglo-Indian who has acquired great wealth and lives in Eastern luxury; hence, any very rich and luxurious man.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a governor in India during the Mogul empire
  • n. a wealthy man (especially one who made his fortune in the Orient)

Etymologies

Hindi nawāb, nabāb, from Arabic nuwwāb, pl. of nā'ib, deputy, active participle of nāba, to represent; see nwb in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
In colloquial usage in English since 1612, from Urdu, from Persian, from the honorific plural of Arabic نائب (nā’ib, "deputy"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I introduced him to her, and left her to improve the impression: 'tis well I was married in time; a nabob is a dangerous rival.

    The History of Emily Montague

  • The family name, indeed, may stem from the same Arabic root as the word nabob, having been brought into Russia by the fourteenth-century Tatar prince Nabok Murza.

    Professor Nabokov

  • One morning, passing through Vessory Bazar, I was greatly shocked at seeing the nabob's elephant take up a little child in his trunk and dash its brains out against the ground; the only reason that could be observed was, that the child had thrown some pebble stones at it; and the only redress the poor disconsolate mother could obtain was a gift of fifty pagodas from the nabob, which is about equal to twenty pounds sterling.

    Narrative of a Voyage to India; of a Shipwreck on board the Lady Castlereagh; and a Description of New South Wales

  • Nobody, not even his old Eton chums, seemed to know much about him except that he was some kind of nabob, with connections in Leadenhall Street, but he was well received in Society, where his money and manners paid for all.

    Flashman's Lady

  • 'tis well I was married in time; a nabob is a dangerous rival.

    The History of Emily Montague

  • State, -- where he was growing rich fast enough to be able to decline that famous Russian offer which would have made him a kind of nabob in

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 26, December, 1859

  • I knew that Brice had been what we used to call a nabob and had made a fortune in India. "

    Gatlinburg

  • At Christmas -- at every season, indeed -- the hospitable old "nabob" 1 entertained throngs of guests; and, if we choose to go back in fancy, we may see those Virginians of the old age amid their most characteristic surroundings.

    Southern Prose and Poetry for Schools

  • “If your nabob is a nabob, he can very well afford to give madame the furniture.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • State, -- where he was growing rich fast enough to be able to decline that famous Russian offer which would have made him a kind of nabob in a few years.

    The Professor at the Breakfast-Table

Comments

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  • They weren't singing to the tune of "Flight of the Valkyries," were they?

    Edit: Sorry--I think Wagner's work was actually called "Ride of the Conchords."

    March 21, 2012

  • There used to be a TV advert for Nabob coffee with a cheesy jingle which went "It's a Nabob coffee morning..." implying that people do love the smell of Nabob in the morning.

    March 21, 2012

  • I love the smell of nabobs in the morning.

    March 21, 2012

  • The Frogapplause Mandles Big-Box Store is here.

    April 8, 2009

  • What are Mandles? I would have thought they were love handles on men, something akin to michelinitos, but apparently not.

    April 8, 2009

  • If there is anything a wordie hates more than a misspelling, it is a missedsmelling! no smelt too svelte!

    April 8, 2009

  • What?? They changed the scent of Play-Doh? That's blasphemy!

    And by the way, c_b, that's an excellent use of Play-Doh scent. I may just follow your lead.

    April 8, 2009

  • NEWSFLASH: Play-Doh is merging with the makers of Mandles.

    April 8, 2009

  • *snort*
    In response to this convo(thanks, Bonnie)I have just taken humongous humbrage (probably much more than I need). That's right, I am an hysterical humbrage hoarder.

    April 8, 2009

  • But why do you snort it?

    April 8, 2009

  • I have the scent of Play-Doh on my hands. Does that count as umbrage?

    In case anyone's wondering why (and I can't imagine why they would, but anyway...), it's because I keep a Play-Doh Party Pack tube on my work desk to snort when times get desperate. A colleague came by with her tube, and we noticed that mine smells better than hers. Hers, which is two years newer, has an added scent component I referred to as "barley-like," before we noticed that her package has a "Warning: Contains Wheat" notice on it and mine does not. Go figure. I take a SERIOUS amount of umbrage at the Hasbro people if they DARED to change the scent patterns of Play-Doh between 2002 and 2004.

    Bastards!

    April 8, 2009

  • As have I. And I don't even know why.

    Pro: Now you've done it. I'll have to watch the whole movie in Italian.

    April 8, 2009

  • I have just taken umbrage. (#271 today)

    April 8, 2009

  • Oh, c'mon c_b, Edmund Burke can be abstruse, but not as abstruse as all that.

    (Note use of feigned hilarious misunderstanding technique to spice up the discussion. One can only sit back and wait, hoping desperately that someone will take umbrage, and then watch the fun begin. Because, as is well known, very few Wordies can resist the scent of a possible marathon of phony umbrage taking)

    April 8, 2009

  • Wow. That's... that was something else! I recognized a few words:

    Mister Aladdin (the fourth time I heard it)
    ristorante
    strega
    perche
    tutti
    baklava

    April 8, 2009

  • Italian version of Aladdin's song.
    (One of the best soundtrack adaptations I have ever seen)

    April 7, 2009

  • Then there is the famous speech by Edmund Burke on the Nabob of Arcot's debts.

    April 7, 2009

  • 1992 is nothing compared to the date of the quote I added "about 1 year ago", which was the first use of "nabob" that ever stuck in my then-young mind. (Gosh, I'm old!)

    April 7, 2009

  • "Mister Aladdin, sir,
    Have a wish or two or three
    I'm on the job, you big nabob
    You ain't never had a friend,
    Never had a friend,
    You ain't never had a friend like me."
    —"Friend Like Me," Aladdin (1992), lyrics by Howard Ashman

    (1992! Christ, I'm old!)

    April 7, 2009

  • "In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism. They have formed their own 4-H Club -- the 'hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.' – from a speech about the US press, delivered in 1970 by Spiro Agnew, but written by word maven Willian Safire.

    December 6, 2007