Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be largely honorary (e.g. precedence), and vary from country to country and era to era. Historically membership in the nobility and the prerogatives thereof have been regulated or acknowledged by the government, thereby distinguishing it from other sectors of a nation's upper class. Nonetheless, nobility per se has rarely constituted a closed caste; acquisition of sufficient power, wealth, military prowess or royal favour has, occasionally or often, enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility.

There is often a variety of ranks within the noble class. Legal recognition of nobility is more common in monarchies, but nobility also existed in such republics as the Dutch Provinces, Genoa and Venice, and remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. San Marino and Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles often distinguish nobles from non-nobles, although in many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, and a hereditary title need not indicate nobility.

Read more about Nobility:  History, Noble Privileges, Ennoblement, European Nobility, Rank Within The Nobility, "Blue" Blood, Eastern Nobility, Nobility By Nation

Other articles related to "nobility":

Known Family Branches - Nobility - Lorber Von Lorberau
... Today, no descendants of the noble Lorber branches are known. ...
Seimas Of The Grand Duchy Of Lithuania - History
... I (1548–1564) Vilnius 3 Minsk 1 Total 40 The first traces of large nobility meetings can be found in the Treaty of Salynas of 1398 and the Union of Horodło of 1413 ... Soon influence of the nobility grew as Casimir's privileges released veldamas, dependent peasants, from their taxes to the state ... That meant a significant increase in nobility's revenue ...
List Of Finnish Noble Families
... Families officially belonging to Finnish nobility have been introduced to the Finnish House of Nobility ... The remaining 119 families belong to untitled nobility ...
... The European Commission of the Nobility under the name CILANE ("Commission d'information et de liaison des associations nobles d'Europe") was established in ... are private initiatives, particularly in nations where titles of nobility are no longer recognised and therefore unregulated by law ... The delegates represent their Nobility Associations at the CILANE for the following countries Belgium, France, Italy, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Papal ...
Nobility By Nation
... see CategoryNobility by nation Armenian nobility Austrian nobility Baltic nobility related to the modern area of Estonia and Latvia Belgian nobility Bohemian nobility ...

Famous quotes containing the word nobility:

    Something has ceased to come along with me.
    Something like a person: something very like one.
    And there was no nobility in it
    Or anything like that.
    Jon Silkin (b. 1930)

    These hands do lack nobility that they strike
    A meaner than myself.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    It is of the nobility of man’s soul that he is insatiable: for he hath a benefactor so prone to give, that he delighteth in us for asking. Do not your inclinations tell you that the WORLD is yours?
    Thomas Traherne (1636–1674)