Share this entry
parvenu Line breaks: par|venu
Pronunciation: /ˈpɑːvənuː/

Definition of parvenu in English:


often derogatory
A person of humble origin who has gained wealth, influence, or celebrity: the political inexperience of a parvenu [as modifier]: cynical parvenu bureaucrats
More example sentences
  • The others are parvenus and upstarts in comparison.
  • He presented himself as a supremely patrician figure, so different from the vulgar parvenues of the Thatcher cabinet.
  • And yet one often hears the bitterness of a displaced generation: ‘How many out of this avalanche of parvenus will stay the course?’
the nouveau riche, the new rich


Early 19th century: from French, literally 'arrived', past participle of parvenir, from Latin pervenire 'come to, reach'.

Definition of parvenu in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Related Words