Definition of parvenu in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpärvəˌn(y)o͞o/ /ˈpɑrvəˌn(j)u/

See synonyms for parvenu

Translate parvenu into Spanish


  • A person of obscure origin who has gained wealth, influence, or celebrity.

    • ‘the political inexperience of a parvenu’
    • ‘he concealed the details of his parvenu lifestyle’
    • ‘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?’’
    • ‘You rather liked parvenus: they had energy; they knew what they wanted.’
    • ‘It sounds good that some of the parvenus have volunteered to pay taxes.’
    upstart, social climber, arriviste, vulgarian
    View synonyms


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