Part of speech: noun
Origin: Hindi, 17th century
A very wealthy and powerful person
Historically, a European who made their fortune in India or another Eastern country
Examples of Nabob in a sentence
"He was such a nabob that he was invited to every fundraiser and charity event in town."
"In the 1800s, a man could leave England as a pauper and return after a few years in India as a celebrated nabob."
Popularity Over Time
Originally, a nabob was a man who came home after finding his wealth in India and flaunted his new fortunes. Now a nabob is anyone with considerable wealth and power, still with a rather showy connotation. This person could also be described as a tycoon, a magnate, or a mogul.
Did you Know?
The term "nabob" was brought into English from Hindi during British colonial rule in India. Droves of British men were employed by the East India Company (a giant in trading) and were coming home from the East with huge fortunes. The word continued to spread westward, landing in San Francisco. As rich and powerful men built impressive mansions on hills, they were referred to as nabobs. The name was eventually shortened, and you have the current neighborhood of Nob Hill.