Definition of nouveau riche in English:

nouveau riche

Line breaks: nou|veau riche
Pronunciation: /ˌnuːvəʊ ˈriːʃ
, nuvo ʀiʃ/


[treated as plural] (usually the nouveau riche)
  • People who have recently acquired wealth, typically those perceived as ostentatious or lacking in good taste: the long-term wealthy and the nouveau riche came flocking to Saint Laurent’s show the nouveau riche of today buy leather covered volumes by the metre
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    • True enough, the fairytale ending which would have seen the paupers overcome the might of the nouveau riche was lacking.
    • The Mexican aristocracy and the nouveau riche have bought up most of the sites along the waterfront, where they have created palatial architect-designed homes.
    • But the rich have multiplied; the nouveau riche have become more ostentatious and their spending habits seem to be contagious.


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  • Relating to or characteristic of the nouveau riche: nouveau-riche social climbers
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    • Then they become rather horrid adults - wooden actors, narcissistic, nouveau-riche characters - who are torn apart by circumstance but still find time to have an affair and ruin other people's lives.
    • This was also true in 1937, parenthetically, when researcher Lundberg's discourse paid hardly any attention to the nouveau-riche aviation, radio, motion picture and electric gadget fortunes of the Roaring Twenties.
    • The world-weary contempt of the old, failed imperialists for the nouveau-riche idealists drips through every page of the book, and passed into the British - and French - bloodstreams.


French, literally 'new rich'.

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