Definitions

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

  • n. A person of humble origin who attains sudden wealth, power, or importance, especially one made immodest or presumptuous by the change; a parvenu.
  • adj. Suddenly raised to a position of consequence.
  • adj. Self-important; presumptuous.
  • intransitive v. To spring or start up suddenly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who has suddenly gained wealth, power, or other prominence, but either has not received social acceptance or has become arrogant or presumptuous.
  • adj. self-important and presumptuous
  • v. to rise suddenly, to spring

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Suddenly raised to prominence or consequence.
  • n. One who has risen suddenly, as from low life to wealth, power, or honor; a parvenu.
  • n. The meadow saffron.
  • intransitive v. To start or spring up suddenly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To start or spring up suddenly.
  • n. One who or that which starts or springs up suddenly; specifically, a person who suddenly rises from a humble position to wealth, power, or consequence; a parvenu.
  • n. One who assumes a lofty or arrogant tone.
  • n. A puddle made by the hoofs of horses in clayey ground. Halliwell. The meadow-saffron, Colchicum autumnale, whose flowers spring up suddenly without leaves.
  • Starting up suddenly; quickly rising.
  • Suddenly raised to prominence or consequence; parvenu: as, “a race of upstart creatures,”
  • Characteristic of a parvenu; new and pretentious.

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

  • n. an arrogant or presumptuous person
  • n. a gymnastic exercise performed starting from a position with the legs over the upper body and moving to an erect position by arching the back and swinging the legs out and down while forcing the chest upright
  • n. a person who has suddenly risen to a higher economic status but has not gained social acceptance of others in that class
  • adj. characteristic of someone who has risen economically or socially but lacks the social skills appropriate for this new position

Etymologies

up- +‎ start (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • #Remove a bew upstart scripts cd/etc/init rm mountall* upstart*

    Planet Ubuntu

  • McCain, war hero, American patriot will prevail against the one term upstart from Illinois with questionable personal affiliations and no experience in the international theater.

    McCain & Firefighters

  • I guess the licensing is useful for large business to restrain upstart competitors.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » The Solicitor General Lays an Egg

  • Murdoch said the energy of the iconoclastic and unconventional should not be curbed, adding: When the upstart is too successful, somehow the old interests surface, and restrictions on growth are proposed or imposed.

    Rupert Murdoch uses Margaret Thatcher lecture for a display of power

  • His connections remain undecided about going on to the May 16 Preakness, preferring to take some time to see how their upstart is doing.

    Dream of roses becomes reality

  • However, the upstart is teh upset to this whole thing!

    Clinton chastises press for ignoring sexism

  • With potential applications ranging from protective gear for the military, police, and firefighters to safety seats for cars that protect against high-force impact to soundproofing, the feisty upstart is attracting the attention of big-league players such as NASA and Boeing.

    Batman-Like Suit Hardens into Protective Shell on Impact | Impact Lab

  • The woman on the left (who looks a bit like Téa Leoni, I think) is obviously being confronted with some entitled upstart (look at that nose in the air!) and is on the point of delivering a well-deserved set-down.

    August 2007

  • Surely this upstart is incapable of creating a quality tale, the Holy Grail so often out of reach by seasoned writers, isn't he?

    REVIEW: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

  • Under the terms of the agreement, the Malaysian low-cost carrier has taken a 30% stake in Vietnamese upstart VietJet for Vnd180 billion ($9.5 million) through its wholly owned subsidiary AA International.

    FinanceAsia

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • See comment on startup.

    May 22, 2012

  • *twitching*

    June 6, 2008

  • "Dear Sir/Madam, We are certified loan lender. and offer secured loans to individuals and companies at low interest 5% rate.I offer long and short term loans.Our firm has recorded a lot of breakthroughs in the provision of first class financial services to our clients especially in the area of Loan syndication and capital provision for individuals and companies. We have brought ailing industries back to life and we back good business ideas by providing funds for their upstart."
    - spam.

    June 6, 2008