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[pahr-vuh-noo, -nyoo, pahr-vuh-noo, -nyoo] /ˈpɑr vəˌnu, -ˌnyu, ˌpɑr vəˈnu, -ˈnyu/
a person who has recently or suddenly acquired wealth, importance, position, or the like, but has not yet developed the conventionally appropriate manners, dress, surroundings, etc.
being or resembling a parvenu.
characteristic of a parvenu.
Origin of parvenu
1795-1805; < French: upstart, noun use of past participle of parvenir to arrive, reach < Latin pervenīre, equivalent to per- per- + venīre to come
Related forms
parvenudom, noun
parvenuism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for parvenu
  • Un roi parvenu, and in those regions, would have found himself in a precarious situation.
  • How these two peoples-the destined parvenu and the doomed caretaker of a continent-would have interacted is a potent mystery.
  • It is found among scattered and broken peoples, among the declining and impoverished, among the parvenu or recently restored.
  • Everyone in town was a parvenu, so there was no great weight of tradition or social order with which to contend.
  • Anyhow, the image of a parvenu with weak foundations was laid for good.
  • Amanda, the beautiful sister, can't forgive him for being the parvenu who saved her life.
  • Un roi parvenu, and in those regions, would have found himself in.
British Dictionary definitions for parvenu


a person, esp a man, who, having risen socially or economically, is considered to be an upstart or to lack the appropriate refinement for his or her new position
of or characteristic of a parvenu
Word Origin
C19: from French, from parvenir to attain, from Latin pervenīre, from per through + venīre to come
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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Contemporary definitions for parvenu

pertaining to a recent rise in wealth or position


a person who has suddenly attained wealth or position but has not yet gained acceptance in the upper class; also, an upstart who has not yet gained the manner associated with this new position

Word Origin

Latin per 'through' + venire 'to come''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for parvenu

"upstart," 1802, from French parvenu, "said of an obscure person who has made a great fortune" (Littré); noun use of past participle of parvenir "to arrive" (12c.), from Latin pervenire "to come up, arrive, attain," from per- "through" (see per (prep.)) + venire "to come" (see venue). As an adjective from 1828.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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