noblesse oblige

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noblesse o·blige

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

[French, nobility is an obligation : noblesse, nobility + oblige, third person sing. present tense of obliger, to obligate.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

noblesse oblige

(nəʊˈblɛs əʊˈbliːʒ; French nɔblɛs ɔbliʒ)
often ironic the supposed obligation of nobility to be honourable and generous
[French, literally: nobility obliges]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

no•blesse o•blige

(noʊˈblɛs oʊˈbliʒ)
the moral obligation of the rich or highborn to display honorable and generous conduct.
[1830–40; < French: literally, nobility obliges]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

noblesse oblige

A French phrase meaning nobility obliges, used to mean the type of honorable behavior that is supposed to be incumbent on people of rank or privilege.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.noblesse oblige - the obligation of those of high rank to be honorable and generous (often used ironically)
duty, obligation, responsibility - the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force; "we must instill a sense of duty in our children"; "every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty"- John D.Rockefeller Jr
French - the Romance language spoken in France and in countries colonized by France
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
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.
As for you and me, noblesse oblige'--he watched me narrowly.
He found, with rare and mythical exceptions, that there was no noblesse oblige among the business and financial supermen.
'Er--well,' he said, ' noblesse oblige , don't you know, what?'
She picked at the darned table-cloth and went on: "You look as if you knew what isn't snobbery as well as what is; and when I say that ours is a good old family, you'll understand it is a necessary part of the story; indeed, my chief danger is in my brother's high-and-dry notions, noblesse oblige and all that.
Policy and politics are a full-time responsibility; not a hobbyhorse or self-indulgent exercise in noblesse oblige. Nowadays it's Twitter, YouTube, websites and podcasts, not just political loquaciousness, that form the backbone of elections.
For the Queen to shake Merkel's hand and not even to acknowledge President Putin as he wasn't invited shows the British state at the true zenith of its introversion, noblesse oblige, prejudice and incompetence on the same level as the public announcement that the Home Secretary had signed the necessary papers before an extradition hearing where a man is being and has long been wickedly persecuted for showing the world US war crimes.
She characterizes the innumerable acts of kindness by Bob's sisters towards the less fortunate as noblesse oblige motivated by "their keen awareness of their social station" (98).
The civil rights movement's insistence on immediate equality and integration rather than a Washingtonian model of patience and accommodation discredited his efforts as complicit with racism and discrimination, or at best noblesse oblige or Jewish self-interest.
Once you can fake that you've got it made.") Most historians will surely conclude however that his hasty departure was an appalling abdication of responsibility; the very antithesis of noblesse oblige. 'Scarpering' and 'I'm off guv' spring to mind.
Wicker argues that FDR's actions coupled with these kinds of speeches rule out noblesse oblige, social gospel, and progressivism as his motivations.