Word of the Day
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Definitions for parvenu

  1. One that has recently or suddenly risen to a higher social or economic class but has not gained social acceptance of others in that class; an upstart.
  2. Being a parvenu; also, like or having the characteristics of a parvenu.

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Citations for parvenu
But the favourite's power and influence provoke intense ill-feeling among other courtiers, who regard him as a sinister usurping parvenu with ideas above his station, or perhaps even a sorcerer. Francis Wheen, The Guardian
However, the Creoles, French, Spanish, and Acadians who preceded the American parvenus were deeply entrenched and incredibly snobbish and clannish in relation to outsiders. Laurence Bergreen, Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life
Origin of parvenu
Parvenu is from the French, from the past participle of parvenir, from Latin pervenire, "to come through to, to arrive at, to reach, hence to succeed," from per, "through" + venire, "to come."