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noblesse oblige
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noblesse oblige
(French)


As for you and me, noblesse oblige’—he watched me narrowly.
Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  the obligation of those of high rank to be honorable and generous (often used ironically)
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Notes:
In French, "noblesse oblige" literally means, "nobility obliges".
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Samples:
  • As for you and me, noblesse oblige’—he watched me narrowly.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • His sense of noblesse oblige will cost him his life at the hands of Patroklos.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • But there were still others, older people, who said that even grief could not cause a real lady to forget noblesse oblige—without calling it noblesse oblige.
    William Faulkner  --  A Rose for Emily
  • Remote cousins and family friends whom mere acquaintanceship invested with a sort ofblood obligation noblesse oblige.
    William Faulkner  --  The Sound and the Fury

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  • An adventurer like Lemuel Struthers might build up the millions of his Shoe Polish on any number of shady dealings; but unblemished honesty was the noblesse oblige of old financial New York.
    Edith Wharton  --  The Age of Innocence
  • At the same time, though, "Master Harold" makes us reexamine the assumptions of right—and rights—that we take for granted in watching the Shakespearean original, notions of privilege and noblesse oblige, assumptions about power and inheritance, ideas of accepted behavior and even of adulthood itself.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • He possessed infinite courage, an averagely good mind, and a sense of honor with a clear charm and noblesse oblige that varied it from righteousness.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  This Side of Paradise
  • "You’ve got true noblesse oblige, Mountain Goat," Dad would say.
    Jeannette Walls  --  The Glass Castle
  • The lad expected it, so you gave it to him—out noblesse oblige is an emotion felt only by those who are noble.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • Speaking judiciously, as one related to the church by marriage, Mrs. Warren gave verdict: "I’m sure we’re all heartily in accord with Mrs. Kennicott in feeling that wherever genuine poverty is encountered, it is not only noblesse oblige but a joy to fulfil our duty to the less fortunate ones.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street

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  • Noblesse oblige-nobility imposes obligations.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • —I do not count it as nobility; it must be assumed to spring from a much commoner emotion than noblesse oblige.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • But there were still others, older people, who said that even grief could not cause a real lady to forget noblesse oblige—without calling it noblesse oblige.
    William Faulkner  --  A Rose for Emily
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Associated words [difficulty]:   noblesse oblige [8] , provocateur [6] , carte blanche [8] , tête-à-tête [8] , piéce de résistance [9]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, Sports, Religion - Christianity
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