parvenu

noun
par·​ve·​nu | \ˈpär-və-ˌnü, -ˌnyü\
plural parvenus\ ˈpär-​və-​ˌn(y)üz \

Definition of parvenu 

: 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

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Other Words from parvenu

parvenu adjective

Did You Know?

French has been generous in providing us with terms for obscure folks who suddenly strike it rich. In addition to parvenu, French has loaned us nouveau riche, arriviste, and roturier, all of which can describe a rich person of plebeian origins, especially one who is a bit snobby. Those colorful and slightly disparaging terms for the newly moneyed clearly show their French heritage, but it may be harder to see the French background of a term Massachusetts locals once used for coastal merchants made rich through the fishing trade: codfish aristocracy. Codfish comes from Middle English, but aristocracy passed into English via Middle French.

Examples of parvenu in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Well, rejecting the pretensions of the peacocking parvenu is one of the sweetest pleasures left to the fallen aristocrat. Lili Anolik, Vanities, "Donald Trump’s Biggest Mistake Might Have Been Getting Elected," 19 June 2017 Well, rejecting the pretensions of the peacocking parvenu is one of the sweetest pleasures left to the fallen aristocrat. Lili Anolik, Vanities, "Donald Trump’s Biggest Mistake Might Have Been Getting Elected," 19 June 2017 Well, rejecting the pretensions of the peacocking parvenu is one of the sweetest pleasures left to the fallen aristocrat. Lili Anolik, Vanities, "Donald Trump’s Biggest Mistake Might Have Been Getting Elected," 19 June 2017 Well, rejecting the pretensions of the peacocking parvenu is one of the sweetest pleasures left to the fallen aristocrat. Lili Anolik, Vanities, "Donald Trump’s Biggest Mistake Might Have Been Getting Elected," 19 June 2017 Well, rejecting the pretensions of the peacocking parvenu is one of the sweetest pleasures left to the fallen aristocrat. Lili Anolik, Vanities, "Donald Trump’s Biggest Mistake Might Have Been Getting Elected," 19 June 2017 Well, rejecting the pretensions of the peacocking parvenu is one of the sweetest pleasures left to the fallen aristocrat. Vanityfair.com, VanityFair.com, "Donald Trump’s Biggest Mistake Might Have Been Getting Elected," 14 June 2017

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

1787, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for parvenu

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

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Dictionary Entries near parvenu

par value

parvanimity

parve

parvenu

parvenue

parvenuism

parvis

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Time Traveler for parvenu

The first known use of parvenu was in 1787

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More Definitions for parvenu

parvenu

noun

English Language Learners 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

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