noblesse oblige nō-ˈbles-ə-ˈblēzh noun
: the obligation of those of high rank to be honorable and generous (often used ironically)
The term noblesse oblige has appeared in nine articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Nov. 30 in the obituary “George Bush, Who Steered Nation in Tumultuous Times, Is Dead at 94” by Adam Nagourney:
By any yardstick, Mr. Bush was an aristocrat, a product of moneyed Greenwich, Conn., where he was instilled with an enduring sense of noblesse oblige.
As a candidate, he was known to ask his Secret Service detail to stop at traffic lights. He wrote enough thank-you notes, courtesy cards and letters of sympathy — Mr. Bush seemed to know someone in every town in America — to fill a book, literally.