ar·​ri·​viste | \ ˌa-ri-ˈvēst How to pronounce arriviste (audio) \

Definition of arriviste

: one that is a new and uncertain arrival (as in social position or artistic endeavor)

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An arriviste is someone who is just beginning to "arrive," in the sense of achieving success or making a name for oneself. Often the word can have slightly negative connotations, indicating a person who is highly aggressive or perhaps unscrupulous in his or her climb to the top. Like its synonym parvenu, arriviste can also indicate a lack of certainty or confidence in one's newfound position. Arriviste is something of a new arrival itself, relatively speaking. English speakers borrowed the term from French in the early 20th century.

Examples of arriviste in a Sentence

the town's old money immediately shunned these vulgar arrivistes, who may have had the cash but certainly not the class
Recent Examples on the Web Storied firms like Sequoia Capital, an early investor in Apple, Google, and LinkedIn, have a significant edge over the arrivistes. Alex Webb,, "SoftBank’s Woes Are Not a Victory for Rival VCs," 1 May 2020 Meanwhile, Anne must contend with the mewling of her petulant dud of a son, Oliver (Richard Goulding), and his bored arriviste wife, Susan (Alice Eve). Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Belgravia': TV Review," 10 Apr. 2020 Reginald Pole — a descendant of the once-ruling Plantagenets, who regard the Tudors as arrivistes — now spreads heresy and treason on the Continent. Thomas Mallon, New York Times, "Crashing Henry VIII’s Court One Last Time With Hilary Mantel," 25 Feb. 2020 Until then, Imelda suffered from a reputation on the international circuit as an unwelcome arriviste. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "How Imelda Marcos, the Wife of a Filipino Dictator, Became an Icon of ’80s Excess," 4 Nov. 2019 Bush served only one term, beaten by the upwardly mobile country boy Bill Clinton (with the assistance of Ross Perot, an arriviste yahoo, who presumably drew off a considerable number of Republican votes, a prototype of yahoos to come). Doug Henwood, Harper's magazine, "To Serve Is to Rule," 28 Oct. 2019 The quasi-aristocratic status of leaders like Jay, and the aristocratic aspirations of arrivistes like Hamilton, give the society a veneer of elitism (the many Quaker outsiders in its ranks are, for the purposes of this indictment, forgotten). Richard Brookhiser, National Review, "The New York Manumission Society," 24 Oct. 2019 Shiv’s husband, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), is a Midwestern arriviste who works for the company and is desperate for Logan’s approval. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "How Succession Skewers the Rich," 9 Sep. 2019 On Dance Moms, the Siwas carved out roles as tacky arrivistes with way too much ambition. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Time, "'What Do People Want Me to Do? Wear Black Every Day?': How Child Star JoJo Siwa Built Her Sparkly Empire," 22 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arriviste.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arriviste

1895, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arriviste

French, from arriver

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Time Traveler for arriviste

Time Traveler

The first known use of arriviste was in 1895

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Statistics for arriviste

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Arriviste.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on arriviste

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arriviste

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arriviste

Nglish: Translation of arriviste for Spanish Speakers

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