Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

parvenu

play
noun par·ve·nu \ˈpär-və-ˌnü, -ˌnyü\

Simple Definition of parvenu

  • : a person from usually a low social position who has recently or suddenly become wealthy, powerful, or successful but who is not accepted by other wealthy, powerful, and successful people

Full Definition of parvenu

plural par·ve·nusplay \-ˌn(y)üz\

  1. :  one that has recently or suddenly risen to an unaccustomed position of wealth or power and has not yet gained the prestige, dignity, or manner associated with it

parvenu adjective

Examples of parvenu

  1. <the kind of trophy house that a parvenu buys to prove to people, and to himself, that he has indeed arrived>



Origin of parvenu

French, from past participle of parvenir to arrive, from Latin pervenire, from per through + venire to come — more at for, come


First Known Use: 1787



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up parvenu? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

2.2 pounds 100 pounds 196.5 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ