Why was clemency trending last week?


[n., adj. uhp-stahrt; v. uhp-stahrt] /n., adj. ˈʌpˌstɑrt; v. ʌpˈstɑrt/
a person who has risen suddenly from a humble position to wealth, power, or a position of consequence.
a presumptuous and objectionable person who has so risen; parvenu.
being, resembling, or characteristic of an upstart.
verb (used without object)
to spring into existence or into view.
to start up; spring up, as to one's feet.
verb (used with object)
to cause to start up.
Origin of upstart
1275-1325; Middle English (v.); see up-, start
Related forms
upstartness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for upstart
  • The upstart forests transferred the landscape's nutrients to the treetops, out of the reach of large mammals.
  • Though hardly older than their upstart office mates, both have already attained high levels of corporate success.
  • Compared to the furrier, the glove salesman and the scrap-metal merchant, the jewelry dealer seemed an upstart.
  • Entrepreneurs poured millions into upstart solar-energy and wind-power companies.
  • As a result, scientists dismissed the upstart mutation.
  • The industry's self-image is still vaguely that of the outlaw and upstart.
  • Now an upstart liquor brand wants dibs on another hue, blue.
  • For small, upstart parties, it offers a way of getting a foot in the door.
  • The upstart now signs up nearly a third of new clients, and after years of losses it is finally profitable.
  • In each case it is difficult for an upstart to break in.
British Dictionary definitions for upstart


noun (ˈʌpˌstɑːt)
  1. a person, group, etc, that has risen suddenly to a position of power or wealth
  2. (as modifier): an upstart tyrant, an upstart family
  1. an arrogant or presumptuous person
  2. (as modifier): his upstart ambition
verb (ʌpˈstɑːt)
(intransitive) (archaic) to start up, as in surprise, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for upstart

1550s, "one newly risen in importance or rank, a parvenu," also start-up, from up + start (v.) in the sense of "jump, spring, rise." Cf. the archaic verb upstart "to spring to one's feet," attested from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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