• (British) IPA: /ˈpɑː.və.njuː/, /ˈpɑː.və.nuː/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈpɑɹ.və.nju/, /ˈpɑɹ.və.nu/

parvenu (plural parvenus)

  1. A person who has risen, climbed up, or has been promoted to a higher social class, especially through acquisition of wealth, rights, or political authority but has not gained social acceptance by those within that new class.
    • 2001, January 31, Francis Wheen, "The whole truth about Peter's friends", The Guardian
      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.
Synonyms Translations Adjective

parvenu (not comparable)

  1. Being a parvenu; also, like, having the characteristics of, or associated with a parvenu.
    • 1903, Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, ch 66:
      Loss of money is far the worst, then comes ill-health, and then loss of reputation; loss of reputation is a bad third, for, if a man keeps health and money unimpaired, it will be generally found that his loss of reputation is due to breaches of parvenu conventions only, and not to violations of those older, better established canons whose authority is unquestionable.
    • 2001, Norman Birnbaum, After Progress, Oxford University Press,
      The Progressives were of the educated middle class, angry at the rule of parvenu financiers and industrialists.
    • 2003, Edith Grossman (translator), Gabriel García Márquez, Living to Tell the Tale (2002), Chapter 1,
      The majority of the adults, however, viewed Luisa Santiaga as the precious jewel of a rich and powerful family whom a parvenu telegraph operator was courting not for love but self-interest.

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