[pahr-vuh-noo, -nyoo, pahr-vuh-noo, -nyoo]


a person who has recently or suddenly acquired wealth, importance, position, or the like, but has not yet developed the conventionally appropriate manners, dress, surroundings, etc.


being or resembling a parvenu.
characteristic of a parvenu.

Origin of parvenu

1795–1805; < French: upstart, noun use of past participle of parvenir to arrive, reach < Latin pervenīre, equivalent to per- per- + venīre to come
Related formspar·ve·nu·dom, nounpar·ve·nu·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for parvenu

upstart, snob, newcomer, arrogant

Examples from the Web for parvenu

Contemporary Examples of parvenu

Historical Examples of parvenu

British Dictionary definitions for parvenu



a person, esp a man, who, having risen socially or economically, is considered to be an upstart or to lack the appropriate refinement for his or her new position


of or characteristic of a parvenu

Word Origin for parvenu

C19: from French, from parvenir to attain, from Latin pervenīre, from per through + venīre to come
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for parvenu

"upstart," 1802, from French parvenu, "said of an obscure person who has made a great fortune" (Littré); noun use of past participle of parvenir "to arrive" (12c.), from Latin pervenire "to come up, arrive, attain," from per- "through" (see per (prep.)) + venire "to come" (see venue). As an adjective from 1828.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper