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Word of the Day
Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Definitions for parvenu

  1. 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.
  2. being or resembling a parvenu.
  3. characteristic of a parvenu.

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Citations for parvenu
It was a joke, my dear, worthy of a lackey, or of a silly, smart parvenu, not knowing the society into which his luck had cast him… William Makepeace Thackeray, The Second Funeral of Napoleon, 1841
Tuhao roughly translates as "crass rich," since "tu" means uncultured and "hao" means bold or bullying. (Though some sites say that "hao" translates better as "wealth" or "splendor.") It joins "nouveau riche," "parvenu" and "bling" and other terms for the newly rich who have more money than taste. Robert Frank, “China has a word for its crass new rich,” CNBC News, November 15, 2013
Origin of parvenu
Parvenu entered English in the 1700s from the French word of the same spelling meaning "upstart." It comes from the French verb parvenir which means "to arrive, reach."