nobility

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See: character, distinction, elite, eminence, prestige, reputation

NOBILITY. An order of men in several countries to whom privileges are granted at the expense of the rest of the people.
     2. The constitution of the United States provides that no state shall "grant any title of nobility; and no person can become a citizen of the United States until he has renounced all titles of nobility." The Federalist, No. 84; 2 Story, Laws U. S. 851. 3. There is not in the constitution any general prohibition against any citizen whomsoever, whether in public or private life, accepting any foreign title of nobility. An amendment of the constitution in this respect has been recommended by congress, but it has not been ratified by a sufficient number of states to make it a part of the constitution. Rawle on the Const. 120; Story, Const. Sec. 1346.

References in classic literature ?
Mademoiselle de Montalais, of a half noble family, not only would be dowered, but would ennoble Malicorne.
For a noble family they were in somewhat straitened circumstances financially.
As it is difficult to show the blood-relationship between the numerous kindred of any ancient and noble family, even by the aid of a genealogical tree, and almost impossible to do this without this aid, we can understand the extraordinary difficulty which naturalists have experienced in describing, without the aid of a diagram, the various affinities which they perceive between the many living and extinct members of the same great natural class.
The pickles, in a uniform of rich brown double-breasted buttoned coat, and yellow or sombre drab continuations, announced their portly forms, in printed capitals, as Walnut, Gherkin, Onion, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Mixed, and other members of that noble family.
I happen to know that he paid seven hundred pounds to a footman for a note two lines in length, and that the ruin of a noble family was the result.
MERCIE--thank you," said the Lady Flabella, as the lively but devoted Cherizette plentifully besprinkled with the fragrant compound the Lady Flabella's MOUCHOIR of finest cambric, edged with richest lace, and emblazoned at the four corners with the Flabella crest, and gorgeous heraldic bearings of that noble family.
Why, one of them is a rich lord from Touraine and the other a knight of Malta, of noble family.
I think, in some preexistent state, he must have been in the higher circles of spirits, and brought all his old court pride along with him; for it was ingrain, bred in the bone, though he was originally of poor and not in any way of noble family.
Born of a relatively well-off noble family, he lives on a palatial estate in Campania, dines with senators and generals, and, like all of his ancestors before him, owns countless slaves.
The book says that Mordrake is said to have been an heir of a noble family in England.
The Noble family of Ossett pictured with their 1964 Morris Minor |1000 convertible, from left Tony, Kasey and Michelle
Patrick grew up the son of a noble family, but at age sixteen, raiders kidnapped him from Britain and sold him as a slave in Ireland.