Definition of nouveau riche in English:

nouveau riche


usually the nouveau riche
  • treated as plural People who have recently acquired wealth, typically those perceived as ostentatious or lacking in good taste.

    ‘the long-term wealthy and the nouveau riche came flocking to Saint Laurent's show’
    ‘the nouveau riche of today buy leather covered volumes by the metre’
    • ‘She provided a receipt while taking notes on his plans for the Astoria site, realizing that her new client was showing all the impatience of the nouveau riche.’
    • ‘It used to be a down-at-heel area in the city's eastern suburbs, but today its rows of Victorian terraced houses, once populated by working families with noisy children, are the exclusive preserve of the nouveau riche.’
    • ‘That really sorts out the gentry from the nouveau riche.’
    • ‘If there's one thing the old left can't stand it's the nouveau riche and their rejection of Old Labour's cobble-street nostalgia.’
    • ‘Although members of the upper classes are not above profiting from the cocaine trade, they look down on the narcos in the same way that wealthy people the world over disdain the nouveau riche.’
    • ‘North Tulsa is the most underdeveloped section of the city, with most money funneling into the south side of the city, where the middle class and nouveau riche tend to settle.’
    • ‘But the rich have multiplied; the nouveau riche have become more ostentatious and their spending habits seem to be contagious.’
    • ‘But investors seem unperturbed and the nouveau riche are snapping up new apartments in the city centre.’
    • ‘They're not keen on having the nouveau riche bid up the price of weekends at Nantucket and Palm Beach and Jackson Hole.’
    • ‘While Belgravia is Old Money, the square back in Victorian times was known as a favourite of the nouveau riche.’
    • ‘Written in 1977, it is not so much a satire at the expense of the nouveau riche as a devastating portrait of marital hatred and middle class joylessness.’
    • ‘The Mexican aristocracy and the nouveau riche have bought up most of the sites along the waterfront, where they have created palatial architect-designed homes.’
    • ‘Yet, the nouveau riche are vastly outnumbered by a huge underclass of desperately poor people.’
    • ‘‘One of the ideas behind Extravaganza is to show the nouveau riche how their money can be spent with style,’ said Iranyi.’
    • ‘As the wealth of the towns grew in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, so did the leisure of their wealthiest citizens; and as often happens today, the nouveau riche sought to ape the recreations of their social superiors.’
    • ‘True enough, the fairytale ending which would have seen the paupers overcome the might of the nouveau riche was lacking.’
    • ‘A popular saying applied to the nouveau riche at the time was ‘he doesn't like lentils any more.’’
    • ‘Parnell has far too many garish mansions to house the vulgar nouveau riche; and having been to a private school myself, I can tell you, it was simply brimming over with very low class people.’
    • ‘It's as if Nancy Mitford had transplanted her cynical eye from fusty English aristocrats in the 1930s to New York's nouveau riche in the 1990s.’
    • ‘But many had as little real benefit from the Clearances as their tenants did, and were forced to sell off land, including crofting land, to the nouveau riche of the industrialised south.’
    the new rich
    View synonyms


  • Relating to or characteristic of the nouveau riche.

    ‘nouveau-riche social climbers’
    • ‘Then they become rather horrid adults - wooden actors, narcissistic, nouveau-riche characters - who are torn apart by circumstance but still find time to have an affair and ruin other people's lives.’
    • ‘This was also true in 1937, parenthetically, when researcher Lundberg's discourse paid hardly any attention to the nouveau-riche aviation, radio, motion picture and electric gadget fortunes of the Roaring Twenties.’
    • ‘Though uproariously funny, this is the humour of embarrassment; the nouveau riche pretensions of the characters are enough to make audiences' toes curl.’
    • ‘And this time, the nouveau riche duo of the publishing world are claiming that critics are ‘dismissing the feminist aspects’ of their new book, Citizen Girl.’
    • ‘Along the way, Denoncourt hasn't allowed anyone - impoverished aristocracy or nouveau-riche businessman - to lapse into caricature.’
    • ‘Harris's Pear Tree company is now building 250 tree houses of varying sizes and prices every year and has a client list that spans the nouveau-riche world of showbusiness, football and industry.’
    • ‘Where the former is an upmarket, nouveau-riche playground, the latter has a more traditional old-money feel.’
    • ‘It is here that postman Dafydd makes his rounds, thereby providing a link between a gallery of nouveau-riche foreigners, misanthropic farmers, bohemians and peevish locals.’
    • ‘In Thackeray's next full-length novel, the Newcomes are so called because they are both a nouveau riche and an arriviste family.’
    • ‘The Daily Mail took pleasure in vilifying his nouveau-riche lifestyle.’
    • ‘Not only do they have too much money, the nouveau riche geeks of Silicon Valley are now complaining of an affliction known as ‘Sudden Wealth Syndrome.’’
    • ‘The world-weary contempt of the old, failed imperialists for the nouveau-riche idealists drips through every page of the book, and passed into the British - and French - bloodstreams.’
    • ‘In a similar way, it can be argued the Internet has opened up opportunities for knowledge previously denied to many people and has contributed to a new class of nouveau riche technocrats.’
    • ‘The buying and spending spree of the nouveau-riche young urbans is perhaps a reflection of growing independence and raging consumerism.’
    • ‘It begins in the violent, ultra-macho, nouveau-riche fishing port of White Point.’
    • ‘The key to understanding him is that he and his brothers are the only social group who try to be nouveau riche, even when they are not.’
    • ‘It's not quite what you'd expect from such an elegant restaurant, which opened at the height of the city's dot-com boom, catering to those high-end nouveau riche tastes.’
    • ‘So it's no surprise that she doesn't appeal on any level to the nouveau-riche pretensions of this gaggle of white suburban yuppies.’
    • ‘Guimard's patrons were nouveau riche members of the middle class, ready to show the old guard a thing or two and simultaneously publicize their businesses by building in the latest style.’
    • ‘These nouveau-riche folks were often unaware of the standards of high society, so they were given specific codified rules to follow in order to fit in.’


French, literally ‘new rich’.


nouveau riche

/ˌnuːvəʊ ˈriːʃ//nuvo ʀiʃ/