|parvenu, n. and a. (O.E.D.)
[F., ‘said of an obscure person who has made a great fortune’ (Littré),
sbst. use of pa. pple. of parvenir to arrive (at a destination),
to rise to a position, make a fortune:L.
to arrive, attain.]
A. n. A person of obscure origin who has attained
wealth or position beyond that of his class; esp. such a one when
unfitted for his position, or when making large assumptions for himself
on account of his wealth; an upstart. Also transf.
v. 228 note,
His patronage,..like that of many other parvenus, was so
burdensome, that the poet, in a fit of spleen, threatens to shake it off
‘Ah! there is nothing like old families!’ remarked Mrs. Million,
with all the awkward feelings of a parvenue.
Wand. by Seine
The Bonaparte people were parvenus, and clung to all the prestiges of
the preceding dynasty.
The ladies their wives, who could not bear the parvenue [Rebecca].
Frenchm. in Amer.
The parvenu is a person who makes strenuous efforts to persuade other
people that he is entitled to the position he occupies.
Here, There & Everywhere
A word begins its career as a parvenu.
20 Aug. 7/7
To such a man the Jews are not only aggressors and common thieves but
P. VAN GREENAWAY
Man called Scavener
Genealogy..attracts a growing body of parvenus.
B. adj. That has but recently risen to wealth or position;
like or characteristic of a parvenu in manners, vulgar display, etc.
J. S. MILL
No one licked the dust before the parvenu emperor with greater gusto
than the abbé Maury.
Wks. 1874 I. 347
A young parvenu nobleman.
Other monarchs had treated the parvenu ruler of France with
There was nothing parvenu in the penniless lad.
12 Nov. 3/5
She sounds a parvenu proletarian, if such a fancy be
Amer. N. & Q.
Some of the parvenu universities are rapidly approaching maturity.
, the domain of parvenus;
, the habits or practices of parvenus, parvenu character.
Prose Wks. 1890 I. 205
A Roman column standing near..satirizes silently their tawdry parvenuism.
W. R. GREG
Lit. & Soc. Judgm.
[A] piece of inflated affectation in the richest style of parvenuism.
12 Dec. 4/3
The servile grovelling of parvenudom.
31 Jan. 3/2
How far it is true as a study of Berlin parvenudom, few..could say.