• WordNet 3.6
    • adj ignoble completely lacking nobility in character or quality or purpose "something cowardly and ignoble in his attitude","I think it a less evil that some criminals should escape than that the government should play an ignoble part"- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr."
    • adj ignoble not of the nobility "of ignoble (or ungentle) birth","untitled civilians"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ignoble (Zoöl) Not a true or noble falcon; -- said of certain hawks, as the goshawk.
    • Ignoble Not honorable, elevated, or generous; base. "'T is but a base, ignoble mind,
      That mounts no higher than a bird can soar."
      "Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife."
    • Ignoble Of low birth or family; not noble; not illustrious; plebeian; common; humble. "I was not ignoble of descent.""Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants."
    • v. t Ignoble To make ignoble.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • ignoble Not noble; not illustrious; of low birth or station.
    • ignoble Not honorable or worthy; mean in character or quality; of no consideration or value.
    • ignoble In some technical uses, lacking distinction; of low grade; of little esteem. Specifically applied — In falconry, to those short-winged hawks, as species of Astur or Accipiter, which chase or rake after the quarry: in distinction from the noble or long-winged falcons, which stoop to the quarry at a single swoop. See hawk.
    • ignoble To make ignoble or vile; degrade; disgrace; bring into disrepute.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Ignoble ig-nō′bl of low birth: mean or worthless: dishonourable
    • v.i Ignoble to degrade
    • ***


  • John Milton
    “Thus Belial, with words clothed in reason's garb, counseled ignoble ease, and peaceful sloth, not peace.”
  • Reginald W. Kaufman
    Reginald W. Kaufman
    “Compromise is never anything but an ignoble truce between the duty of a man and the terror of a coward.”
  • Theodore Roosevelt
    “I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. ignobilis,; pref. in-, not + nobilis, noble: cf. F. ignoble,. See In- not, and Noble (a.)


In literature:

Sure that he will not choose ignobly, I impose no fetters on his choice.
"What Will He Do With It, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
I know no restaurant at Paris, except a very ignoble one, close by my lodging.
"The Parisians, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
I have been the creator of a magic circle, but to the magician himself the magic was tame and ignoble.
"Godolphin, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
The word was a trap for minds muddled by fear, an ignoble refuge of weakness.
"Madame de Mauves" by Henry James
He gratified all his fancies, but they were not ignoble ones; and he was not only sentimentally, but systematically, charitable.
"Lothair" by Benjamin Disraeli
We grow nobly like what we adore through love and ignobly like what we contemplate through hate.
"Imaginations and Reveries" by (A.E.) George William Russell
We call it 'ignoble,' because it takes the quarry in direct chase.
"The King in Yellow" by Robert W. Chambers
Horror filled me at the thought of so ignoble a death.
"The Last Galley" by Arthur Conan Doyle
In this way she would be able to give evidence in his favour without having had recourse to any ignoble practice.
"Nina Balatka" by Anthony Trollope
With the death of the ignoble son of Valerian, I believed would close our undisputed reign over most of these eastern provinces.
"Zenobia" by William Ware

In poetry:

Dwells there a wish in such a breast
Its nature to forego,
To smother in ignoble rest
At once both bliss and woe?
"Addressed To Miss Macartney, Afterwards Mrs. Greville, On Reading The Prayer For Indifference" by William Cowper
Men engaged in deadly conflict,
Who did heretofore agree,
Brother against brother striving,
Desperate, yet ignobly.
"On The Times" by Benjamin Cutler Clark
I saw his bier ignobly cross the plain;
Saw peasant hands the pious rite supply:
The generous rustics mourn'd the friendly swain,
But Power and Wealth's unvarying cheek was dry!
"Elegy III. On the Untimely Death of a Certain Learned Acquainance" by William Shenstone
Thus spoke the king, and, in his pride,
He strove the tender tear to hide,
That trickled down;
But with disdain aside he thrust
The scroll, which found ignoble dust,
And not renown.
"King Kobbena Eljen" by George Hannibal Temple
So, on our soul the visions rise
Of that fair life we never led:
They flash a splendour past our eyes,
We start, and they are fled:
They pass, and leave us with blank gaze,
Resigned to our ignoble days.
"The Fugitive Ideal" by William Watson
But when I learned that our ignoble nation
Lay sleeping like a log, and lay alone,
Propping, according to your information,
Abdul the Damned on his infernal throne,
O then I scattered to the wind my fears,
And nearly went and joined the Volunteers.
"To Mr. William Watson" by Sir Owen Seaman

In news:

Since then, Chris Cornell's series of ignoble side and solo projects has taken a bit of the shine off one of the pillars of grunge.
If you are to the manor born, you can find the cost of maintaining the family castle downright ignoble.
Re "Senator Gorton's Ignoble Crusade" (editorial, Aug 31): Slade Gorton's motives with regard to Indian tribal rights are indeed mean-spirited -- and a measure of the man.
Heavy metal has a long and ignoble tradition of female-led bands that just begs for a juicy Behind the Music -type documentary.
The noble, and the ignoble .
Georgia Republicans pander to those who prefer the ignoble past.
Hard-to-find spot off Lawrence does right by the ignoble cheesesteak.
There may not have been anything as much fun at the movies this year as watching Michael Shannon as a corrupt, comically reckless cop disgusted by his ignoble two-wheeled prey.
Causes can be noble or ignoble.
Ten Beloved Characters, Ten Ignoble Deaths.
Sometime early in my ignoble passion for books, I discovered the existence of villains.
The ignoble race to the bottom of the jobs market has officially bypassed the car-making mecca of Michigan and made its way to Nevada.