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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Nobless \No*bless"\, Noblesse \No*blesse"\ (?; 277), n. [F. noblesse. See Noble.]

  1. Dignity; greatness; noble birth or condition. [Obs.]
    --B. Jonson.

  2. The nobility; persons of noble rank collectively, including males and females.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 13c., "noble birth or condition," from Old French noblece "noble birth, splendor, magnificence" (Modern French noblesse), from Vulgar Latin *nobilitia, from Latin nobilis (see noble (adj.)). French phrase noblesse oblige "privilege entails responsibility" is attested in English first in 1837.


n. The quality of being noble; nobleness.

  1. n. the state of being of noble birth [syn: nobility]

  2. members of the nobility (especially of the French nobility)


In Scotland, Scottish Armigers are those individuals awarded personal Arms by the Court of the Lord Lyon, and are an indication of nobility (either peerage or non-peerage in rank). All Scottish Armigers are ennobled in their grant or matriculation of Arms awarded by the Crown or Sovereign through the Court of the Lord Lyon, and by issuance of a warrant from the Lord Lyon King of Arms is so entered in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland through official "Ensigns of Nobility". Without such legal Arms it is practically impossible to prove one's nobiliary status Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, Lord Lyon King of Arm, also states, "Technically, a grant of arms from the Lord Lyon is a patent of nobility (also referred to a 'Diploma of Nobility'); the Grantee is thereby 'enrolled with all nobles in the noblesse of Scotland."

According to the Court of Session in a decision delivered by Lord Marnoch, he sites the 2nd edition of Scots Heraldry at p. 198, Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, Lord Lyon writes:

“The name in which a person is granted arms is, however, a ‘name of dignity’ (i.e., of the dignity of Gentleman) and in the nature of a 'title' if it comprehends a feudal designation.”

As such, a Scottish Armiger is recognized under Scottish heraldic law as within the non-Peerage rank of Gentleman, which is so recognized under Scots law as a social dignity. Given this court decision, the term “nobility” should be avoided, as it has long been confined in Britain to the Peerage, or someone of official social rank (Dukes, Marquises, Earls, Viscounts, Barons, etc.). Instead, it is more appropriate to use the term ‘Noblesse’ in the context of the French definition, which includes the non-peerage rank of Gentlemen. A Gentleman is the lowest rank of gentry, standing below an esquire and above a yeoman. It includes the untitled and minor nobility - the noblesse, to whom rightly belong lairds (those with territorial designations), Esquires and Gentlemen, "known" through the grant or matriculation of armorial bearings.

The dignity of Esquire (post-nominal Esq.) is an official title in Scotland unlike other parts of the world. For example, attorneys in the United States use the title ESQUIRE as a courtesy title, and is used by both men and women. In Scotland, the title of Esquire is exclusively used by Gentlemen, never ladies. Scottish Armigers who are not Peers, Feudal Barons, or Lairds with Territorial Designations are addressed in correspondence as a post nominal Esq. by the Court of the Lord Lyon.

If associated with a particular Scottish clan, Armigers are the noblesse gentry of their clan, with a duty and responsibility for the management of their clan in our time; and thereby bound to the principles of Noblesse Oblige.

Noblesse (cigarette)

Noblesse is an Israeli cigarette brand produced by Dubek, Israel's oldest cigarette manufacturer. The brand, launched in 1952 in a distinct green, 80mm, 'soft-pack' which has never been dramatically changed, is the oldest in Dubek's product line. The cigarette also has the highest tar (19 mg) and nicotine (1.3 mg) amounts available on the Israeli mass-market.

Dubek has since made three additions to the Noblesse family: A lower nicotine/tar blend in a light-green softpack branded Noblesse Virginia Blend, an even lower nicotine/tar blend in a blue/white flip-top pack branded American Blue and Noblesse Golden Virginia which is sold in a bright orange softpack.

Noblesse cigarettes are also distributed or sold by the Israel Defense Forces to imprisoned soldiers within Israeli military prisons.

Noblesse (horse)

Noblesse (1960–1972) was a champion thoroughbred racehorse and has been regarded as the greatest filly ever trained in Ireland.

Noblesse (manhwa)

is a webtoon written by Son Jeho and illustrated by Lee Kwangsu. Started on 30 December 2007, this webtoon/ manhwa was released on Naver and is still publishing. This webtoon is also being published on LINE Webtoons as of July 2014, in an english translation. It has been adapted into two original video animations in 2015 and 2016.

Usage examples of "noblesse".

He would willingly have slept there too, but noblesse oblige and the thought of what the Chevalier Orvilliers du Champsavoys de Beaumanoir might think prevented him.

It was as much a way of life as a thought-out political philosophy, and along with all the privileges came a certain sense of noblesse oblige.

There, where the distance between the rich and the poor is so very great, and where Anglo-Saxons are automatically among the elite, the concept of noblesse oblige is subject to odd interpretations.

Honneur Esperance Noblesse Renommee Justice Diligence Equite Verite Amour Liberalite Obedience Intelligence Sapience His lordship ofAubigny smiled, and moved forward to congratulate them.

From an anchorman that kind of thing was expected-a matter of noblesse obligeeven though, where Partridge was concerned, Sloane did it without any great enthusiasm.

Francois, the second Duc de la Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marsillac, the author of the maxims, was one of the most illustrious members of the most illustrious families among the French noblesse.

Cenobia Cenobia, of Palymerie queene, As writen Persiens of hir noblesse, So worthy was in armes, and so keene, That no wight passed hir in hardynesse, Ne in lynage, ne in oother gentillesse.

These were a strange mixture: French peasants, halfbreeds, Canadian-born Frenchmen, gentlemen of birth with lives and fortunes gone askew, and many of the native Canadian noblesse, who, like the nobles of France, forbidden to become merchants, became adventurers with the coureurs du bois, who were ever with them in spirit more than with the merchant.

Indians, half-breeds, coureurs du bois, native Canadians, seigneurs, and noblesse, were joining in the function.

A handsome man and woman with the look ofTanu haute noblesse also held futuristic weapons.

Inasmuch as I am delightful to be able to state, with the joy of lifing in my forty winkers, that a handsome sovereign was freely pledged in their pennis in the sluts maschine, alonging wath a cherrywickerkishabrack of maryfruit under Shadow La Rose, to both the legintimate lady performers of display unquestionable, Elsebett and Marryetta Gunning, H 2 O, by that noblesse of leechers at his Saxontannery with motto in Wwalshe's ffrenchllatin: O'Neill saw Queen Molly's pants: and much admired engraving, meaning complet manly parts during alleged recent act of our chief mergey margey magistrades, five itches above the kneecap, as required by statues.

Sir, said Sir Lamorak, now I understand your knighthood, it may not be false that all men say, for of your bounty, noblesse, and worship, of all knights ye are peerless, and for your courtesy and gentleness I showed you ungentleness, and that now me repenteth.

He takes us to a tea party attended by “the higher classes or noblesse, that is to say such as kept their own cows and drove their own wagons,” where we can see the damsels knitting their own woolen stockings and the vrouws serving big apple pies, bushels of doughnuts, and pouring tea out of a fat Delft teapot.