Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person who has recently attained high position or great power but not general acceptance or respect; an upstart.
  • n. A social climber; a bounder.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. upstart, newcomer, late arrival, nouveau riche, parvenu, generally characterised as an ambitious, brash or arrogant person who has yet to integrate with his or her new social group.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who has suddenly risen to a higher economic status but has not gained social acceptance of others in that class

Etymologies

French, from arriver, to arrive, from Old French ariver; see arrive.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French arriviste. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The supreme need of the arriviste is to be able to disown and forget those who have helped him so far.

    Cruel and Unusual

  • There's even a poem about the "arriviste" pronunciation GRIM-iss.

    Go west, young man, WEST!

  • It must have seemed like a good idea at one time, back in the days when we didn't want any actors, divorced bounders or the kind of arriviste who had to buy his own furniture.

    Sport news, comment and results | guardian.co.uk

  • "In many ways, he is the classical 'arriviste' in the good sense of the word."

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • A local in Westchester County uses the word "arriviste" in a sentence explaining how Richard Gere cut down 200 trees in the neighbourhood without permission.

    Edmonton Sun

  • It might also be said that with the structure he's erected, Lauren is something of an arriviste, but if that were uttered, it would require adding that many of the mansions introduced on those soigné avenues were constructed as well by new money confidently joining the old -- like the Rhinelander mansion that's been Lauren's home-base haberdashery for men and women these last few decades.

    David Finkle: Saturday Shoppers View Ralph Lauren's New Madison Avenue Mansion

  • It might also be said that with the structure he's erected, Lauren is something of an arriviste, but if that were uttered, it would require adding that many of the mansions introduced on those soigné avenues were constructed as well by new money confidently joining the old -- like the Rhinelander mansion that's been Lauren's home-base haberdashery for men and women these last few decades.

    David Finkle: Saturday Shoppers View Ralph Lauren's New Madison Avenue Mansion

  • Yet whereas Gatsby felt pressure to hide his status as an arriviste, Combs celebrated his position as an outsider-insider — someone who appropriates elements of the culture he seeks to join without attempting to assimilate outright.

    The End of White America?

  • Commentaries in Egypt's state-run newspapers and television channels painted Mr. ElBaradei as an out-of-touch arriviste and a puppet of Western powers.

    Egypt's ElBaradei Ends Bid for Presidency, Citing Continued Autocracy

  • These polemics, which elevated abstract expressionism to a patriotic cause — and remind us that the United States has always been modernist in its politics, if never lastingly in culture — were written in what Hughes called an "American gigantism of style," and expressed, on their own, a gigantism of appetite more arriviste than imperial.

    Splatter-Day Saints

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Comments

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  • My question was rhetorironical.

    January 28, 2010

  • I don't know what a buffalogirl is. But I heard she goes round the outside.

    January 28, 2010

  • American old-time fiddle tune "Buffalo Gals" aside, don't shoot the moon, please.

    January 28, 2010

  • To dance by the light of the moon?

    January 28, 2010

  • Won't she come out tonight?

    January 28, 2010

  • What's a buffalogirl?

    January 28, 2010

  • I am shocked that most people I have asked don't know this word. Is it that unusual?

    January 28, 2010