One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who has recently become poor. Also with the: such people as a class (treated as plural).
Of a person or group of people: recently impoverished.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Atlantic Monthly. From French nouveau new + pauvre poor [noun¹], after nouveau riche [adjective] French nouveau pauvre is apparently not attested until the 1930s, and the English probably represents an independent formation.
nouveau pauvre/ˌnuːvəʊ ˈpəʊvrə/
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