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noblesse oblige

Definitions

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

  • n. Benevolent, honorable behavior considered to be the responsibility of persons of high birth or rank.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The honourable obligation that is the responsibility of those of high rank; in American English this often includes the expectation of benevolent actions such as helping those less fortunate.

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

  • n. the obligation of those of high rank to be honorable and generous (often used ironically)

Etymologies

French, nobility is an obligation : noblesse, nobility + oblige, third person sing. present tense of obliger, to obligate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French, noblesse ("nobility") oblige ("obliges") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Sorry, no example sentences found.

Comments

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  • Watch Mary Poppins, it pops up in the father's opening song.

    April 2, 2007