tall poppy syndrome

[ tawl-pop-ee sin-drohm, sin-druhm ]
/ ˈtɔl ˈpɒp i ˌsɪn droʊm, ˌsɪn drəm /

noun Chiefly Australian, New Zealand Informal

a tendency to begrudge, resent, or mock people of great success, talent, or status: In our culture of tall poppy syndrome, the more I succeed, the more people try to cut me down.
a tendency to downplay one’s own achievements or talent in order to avoid the resentment and mockery of others: When we observe these students suppressing their natural and exceptional gifts, we are looking at the tall poppy syndrome.



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See also tall poppy.

Origin of tall poppy syndrome

First recorded in 1980–85; see origin at tall poppy

Words nearby tall poppy syndrome

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for tall poppy syndrome

tall poppy syndrome


Australian informal a tendency to disparage any person who has achieved great prominence or wealth
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