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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Synonyms for arriviste


nouveau riche, parvenu, upstart

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Did You Know?

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

The article, which describes old-fashioned Wasps feuding with glamorous arrivistes, is a safari of rich people behaving badly. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "How a Novel Can Unmake the Myth of Meritocracy," 16 July 2019 There was an ambitious arriviste, who smudged the line between confident and cocky. Jon Wertheim And Jacob Feldman,, "The Incomparable Life and Mysterious Death of Suzanne Lenglen," 27 June 2019 Or—my personal favorite—Matthew Macfadyen as Shiv‘s arriviste, excruciatingly gauche boyfriend, Tom. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Five Reasons to Get Hooked on HBO’s Succession," 8 June 2018 Even in the early days of the Quattrocento, contemporary chroniclers were already waxing bitter about these money-lending arrivistes with their boorish habits and their pretensions to dictatorship. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Family Medici' vividly and clearly tells the story of one clan's merciless self-aggrandizement," 28 Mar. 2018 Actresses from Jane Seymour to Gina McKee have struggled to nail her distinctive accent: Southern belle meets arriviste aristocrat. Joanna Scutts, The New Republic, "Wallis Simpson Was No Bold Forerunner," 6 Mar. 2018 Spectacle, arriviste or not, was a rarity this New York Fashion Week. Ben Detrick, New York Times, "Yes, It Was a Quieter Fashion Week. But the Party Must Go On.," 13 Feb. 2018 In the context, it's intended to be a colorful Yiddish insult, but the attribution in various stories seems designed to cast Rosen as a new-money arriviste, part of a horde who prefer Kanye and Jeff Koons over Pablo Picasso and the Ballets Russes. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "Aby Rosen and the Case of the Giant Picasso," 25 Feb. 2014 The pretenders, the arrivistes, the people who go to be Seen. Paul Daugherty,, "Paul Daugherty: Day 4's not too late for the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade," 26 Oct. 2017

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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Statistics for arriviste

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for arriviste

The first known use of arriviste was in 1895

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More from Merriam-Webster on arriviste

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arriviste

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arriviste

Nglish: Translation of arriviste for Spanish Speakers

Comments on arriviste

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something desired as essential

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