Words related to noble


*gnō-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to know."

It forms all or part of: acknowledge; acquaint; agnostic; anagnorisis; astrognosy; can (v.1) "have power to, be able;" cognition; cognizance; con (n.2) "study;" connoisseur; could; couth; cunning; diagnosis; ennoble; gnome; (n.2) "short, pithy statement of general truth;" gnomic; gnomon; gnosis; gnostic; Gnostic; ignoble; ignorant; ignore; incognito; ken (n.1) "cognizance, intellectual view;" kenning; kith; know; knowledge; narrate; narration; nobility; noble; notice; notify; notion; notorious; physiognomy; prognosis; quaint; recognize; reconnaissance; reconnoiter; uncouth; Zend.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit jna- "know;" Avestan zainti- "knowledge," Old Persian xšnasatiy "he shall know;" Old Church Slavonic znati "recognizes," Russian znat "to know;" Latin gnoscere "get to know," nobilis "known, famous, noble;" Greek gignōskein "to know," gnōtos "known," gnōsis "knowledge, inquiry;" Old Irish gnath "known;" German kennen "to know," Gothic kannjan "to make known."

ennoble (v.)

late 15c., "refine, impart a higher character to" (implied in ennobled), from French ennoblir; see en- (1) + noble (adj.). Sense of "give noble rank to" is from 1590s. Related: Ennobler; ennobling.

nobility (n.)

mid-14c., nobilite, "honor, renown; majesty, grandeur;" late 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; social or political preeminence, usually accompanied by hereditary privilege" is attested from late 14c.; sense of "the noble class collectively" is from late 14c. Sense of "dignity of mind, elevation of the soul, loftiness of tone" is from 1590s.

nobleman (n.)

"man of noble birth, one of the nobility, a peer," c. 1300, from noble (adj.) + man (n.). Noblewoman is from late 15c.

nobleness (n.)

"state or quality of being noble," c. 1400; see noble (adj.) + -ness.

In application to things nobleness is rather more appropriate than nobility, as the nobleness of architecture or one's English, while nobility is more likely to be applied to persons and their belongings, as nobility of character or of rank; but this distinction is no more than a tendency as yet. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
noblesse (n.)

c. 1200, "noble birth, high rank or condition," from Old French noblece "noble birth, splendor, magnificence" (Modern French noblesse), from Vulgar Latin *nobilitia, from Latin nobilis (see noble (adj.)). For the Old French suffix -esse, is from Latin -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality, compare fortress.   

Post-Middle English uses are perhaps reborrowings from French. The meaning "persons of noble rank" is from 1590s. The French phrase noblesse oblige "privilege entails responsibility, noble birth or rank compels noble acts" (literally "nobility obliges") is attested in English by 1837.

nobly (adv.)

c. 1300, nobleli, "valorously, courageously, with spirit," also "splendidly, magnificently; skillfully, cleverly," from noble (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "of or befitting noble birth or descent, of high ancestry" is from mid-15c.