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nōbĭlis, e (old collat. form gnōbĭlis: nobilem antiqui pro noto ponebant, et quidem per g litteram, ut Plautus in Pseudolo: peregrina facies videtur hominis atque ignobilis, et: oculis meis obviam ignobilis obicitur. Attius in Diomede: ergo me Argos referam, nam hic sum gnobilis. Livius in Virgo: ornamento incedunt gnobili ignobiles, Paul. ex Fest. p. 174 Müll.), adj. [for gnobilis, from gnosco; Gr. γιγνώσκω; v. nosco], that can be known or is known, knowable, known.

I. In gen. (very rare): neque his umquam nobilis fui, Plaut. Ps. 4, 7, 9: addidit facinori fidem nobili gaudio, Tac. H. 3, 39.—

II. In partic.

A. Wellknown, famous, noted, celebrated, renowned (freq. and class.; cf.: clarus, insignis, inclutus, illustris): die festo celebri nobilique, Aphrodisiis, Plaut. Poen. 3, 5, 13: magnus et nobilis rhetor Isocrates, Cic. Inv. 2, 2, 7: illustre et nobile municipium, id. Verr. 2, 5, 16, 40: oppidum clarum et nobile, id. ib. 2, 1, 24, 63: ex doctrinā nobilis et clarus, id. Rab. Post. 9, 23: gladiatorum par nobilissimum, id. Opt. Gen. 6, 17: multi in philosophiā praeclari et nobiles, id. de Or. 1, 11, 46: ut arcendis sceleribus exemplum nobile esset, Liv. 2, 5: Corinthus aere, Ov. M. 6, 416: puerosque Ledae, Hunc equis, illum superare pugnis Nobilem, Hor. C. 1, 12, 25: palma nobilis, id. ib. 1, 1, 5: nobilis e tectis fundere gaesa rotis, Prop. 4 (5), 10, 42: tamquam Feceris ipse aliquid propter quod nobilis esses, Juv. 8, 41: aquae salubritate et medendis corporibus nobiles. Vell. 2, 25, 4: vitulis marinis ad multa nobile fel, Plin. 11, 37, 75, 195: emplastra nobilia ad extrahendum fel, Cels. 5, 19: Cicero vir nobilissimae novitatis, Vell. 2, 34, 3.—In a bad sense, notorious: innocentes qui se scelere fieri nolunt nobiles, Plaut. Rud. 3, 2, 5: mea (amica) est potens, procax, magnifica, sumtuosa, nobilis, Ter. Heaut. 2, 1, 15: ille nobilis taurus, quem Phalaris habuisse dicitur, Cic. Verr. 2, 4, 33, 73; Liv. 39, 9, 5.—

B. High-born, of noble birth, noble, i. e. sprung from a family (either patrician or plebeian) many members of which had filled curule offices, and consequently possessing the jus imaginum (opp. homo novus or ignobilis; cf.: generosus, amplus): non facit nobilem atrium plenum fumosis imaginibus, Sen. Ep. 44, 5: quanta sit in invidiā apud quosdam nobilis homines novorum hominum virtus et industria, Cic. Verr. 2, 5, 71, 181: Clodia mulier non solum nobilis sed etiam nota, id. Cael. 13, 31: nobili genere nati, id. Verr. 2, 5, 70, 180: homines apud nos noti, inter suos nobiles, id. Fl. 22, 52; Liv. 22, 58.—Hence, subst.: nōbĭlis, is, m., a nobleman: nobiles nostri, Plin. Ep. 5, 17, 5; Vulg. Isa. 5, 13; id. Psa. 149, 8: Nobilissimus, most noble, under the later emperors, a title of the Cæsars and of the members of the imperial family, Cod. Th. 10, 25, 1; Dig. 40, 11, 3.—

C. Of a noble kind, noble, excellent, superior: tres nobilissimi fundi, Cic. Rosc. Am. 35, 99: nobiliumque greges custos servabat equarum, Ov. M. 2, 690: nobilis hic (equus), quocumque venit de gramine, Juv. 8, 60.—Hence, adv.: nōbĭlĭter, famously, excellently, splendidly, nobly (mostly post-Aug.; not in Cic. or Cæs.), Vitr. 7 praef.: nobiliter caelare argentum, Plin. 34, 8, 19, 91.—Comp.: nobilius philosophari, Sid. Ep. 9, 9.—Sup.: ab exercitu nobilissime tumulatus, Liv. Epit. 54.