noblesse obligenoblesse o·blige
the assumed obligation of people of high rank or social position to behave nobly or kindly toward others
Origin of noblesse obligeFr, literally , nobility obliges
Benevolent, honorable behavior considered to be the responsibility of persons of high birth or rank.
Origin of noblesse obligeFrench, nobility is an obligation : noblesse, nobility + oblige, third person sing. present tense of obliger, to obligate.
- The Oxford English Dictionary says that the term "suggests noble ancestry constrains to honourable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility." Being a noble meant that you had responsibilities to lead, manage, etc. You were not to simply spend your time in idle pursuits.