Etymology

The word "nobility" originated in the mid-14th century and means "quality of being excellent or rare". It comes from the Middle English word "noble" and is related to the Old French words "noble" or "nobilité" (meaning "high rank, dignity, grace, great deed") and the Latin word "nobilitas", which means "celebrity, fame, high birth, excellence and superiority". The word nobility replaced the native term "athel", which means "noble" (from ""), as well as the words ""/ "" (meaning "noble, nobleman").