|Nobility (No*bil"i*ty) (?), n.
[L. nobilitas: cf. OF. nobilité. See Noble.]
1. The quality or state of being noble; superiority of mind or of character; commanding excellence; eminence. "Though she hated Amphialus, yet the nobility of her courage prevailed over it." Sir P. Sidney. "They thought it great their sovereign to control, And named their pride nobility of soul." Dryden.
2. The state of being of high rank or noble birth; patrician dignity; antiquity of family; distinction by rank, station, or title, whether inherited or conferred. "I fell on the same argument of preferring virtue to nobility of blood and titles, in the story of Sigismunda." Dryden.
3. Those who are noble; the collictive body of nobles or titled persons in a state; the aristocratic and patrician class; the peerage; as, the English nobility.
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