nouveau riche

nou·​veau riche | \ ˌnü-ˌvō-ˈrēsh How to pronounce nouveau riche (audio) \
plural nouveaux riches\ ˌnü-​ˌvō-​ˈrēsh How to pronounce nouveaux riches (audio) \

Definition of nouveau riche

: a person newly rich : parvenu

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Synonyms for nouveau riche


arriviste, parvenu, upstart

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Examples of nouveau riche in a Sentence

a nouveau riche who is reportedly using his money to buy his way into Palm Beach society

Recent Examples on the Web

The hype supercharged the dot-com bubble of the 90s and launched the internet age, creating today’s world where founders became instant nouveau riche on the day of their company's IPO. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Later, Navigator: How Netscape Won and Then Lost the World Wide Web," 4 Apr. 2019 Leaving behind its faux pas past, nouveau riche had become a status symbol. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.," 5 Dec. 2018 Improvising about golf was easy for me.’ —Bill Murray The movie stars a stuffed-shirt WASP tyrant (Ted Knight), a playboy hedonist wastrel ( Chevy Chase ) and a nouveau riche vulgarian in Day-Glo slacks (Rodney Dangerfield). Chris Nashawaty, WSJ, "How the ‘Caddyshack’ Revolution Upended Hollywood," 19 Apr. 2018 In fact, some say the WHCD created President Trump when Barack Obama pissed him off by using his speech at the 2011 dinner to mock Trump to his face as a nouveau riche birther. Timothy J. Burger, Town & Country, "What's the Point of the White House Correspondents' Dinner if the President Doesn't Show Up?," 31 Mar. 2017 And yet, a fan base that quite enjoys its nouveau riche status among the blue bloods has questions. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Misery Index Week 7: Latest low for Louisville after loss to Boston College," 15 Oct. 2017 Another example: China’s support for the housing markets in smaller cities has created many nouveau riche who are betting their newfound wealth in Macau’s casinos. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "China’s Visible Hand Starts to Squeeze," 18 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nouveau riche.' 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 nouveau riche

circa 1796, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nouveau riche

borrowed from French, literally, "newly rich"

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Dictionary Entries near nouveau riche




nouveau riche


nouvelle cuisine

nouvelle vague

Statistics for nouveau riche

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for nouveau riche

The first known use of nouveau riche was circa 1796

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More Definitions for nouveau riche

nouveau riche


English Language Learners Definition of nouveau riche

disapproving : a person who has recently become rich and who likes to spend a lot of money

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