upstart (plural upstarts)

  1. One who has suddenly gained wealth, power, or other prominence, but either has not received social acceptance or has become arrogant or presumptuous.
    • 1815 December (indicated as 1816), [Jane Austen], chapter XVIII, in Emma: A Novel. In Three Volumes, volume II, London: Printed [by Charles Roworth and James Moyes] for John Murray, OCLC 1708336 ↗, page 345 ↗:
      [S]he has no fair pretence of family or blood. She was nobody when he married her, barely the daughter of a gentleman; but ever since her being turned into a Churchill she has out-Churchill’d them all in high and mighty claims: but in herself, I assure you, she is an upstart.”
  2. The meadow saffron.
Synonyms Translations Adjective


  1. Acting like a parvenu#Noun|parvenu.
  2. self-important and presumptuous.
Translations Verb

upstart (upstarts, present participle upstarting; past and past participle upstarted)

  1. to rise suddenly, to spring
    Th' Elfe therewith astownd,
    Upstarted lightly from his looser make,
    And his unready weapons gan in hand to take.

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