parvenu

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

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 In 1952, backed by little more than his reputation as a war hero and a fortune staked by his parvenu father, 35-year-old John F. Kennedy swiped a Senate seat from Republican Henry Cabot Lodge, himself a wealthy combat veteran. Kevin Mahnken, The New Republic, "The Haunting of Joe Kennedy III," 1 Sep. 2020 Raveendran, at least on paper, assumes his place among those parvenus thanks to his effort in internet education. Saritha Rai, Fortune, "How a 37-Year-Old Former Teacher Became India’s Newest Billionaire," 29 July 2019 Raveendran, at least on paper, assumes his place among those parvenus thanks to his effort in internet education. Saritha Rai, Fortune, "How a 37-Year-Old Former Teacher Became India’s Newest Billionaire," 29 July 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for parvenu

Time Traveler

The first known use of parvenu was in 1787

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Cite this Entry

“Parvenu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/parvenu. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for parvenu

parvenu

noun

English Language Learners Definition of parvenu

formal + disapproving : 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

More from Merriam-Webster on parvenu

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Nglish: Translation of parvenu for Spanish Speakers

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