Definition of upstart in English:



  • 1derogatory A person who has risen suddenly in rank or importance, especially one who behaves arrogantly.

    ‘the upstarts who dare to challenge the legitimacy of his rule’
    • ‘It is a relentless satire on the town's citizens, who are depicted as upstarts clambering up the social ladder despite their patent inadequacy.’
    • ‘At first she wanted to punch the nurse and storm off - how dare the young upstart speak to her like that?’
    • ‘Suddenly, nobody wanted to sell paper to an upstart little company with a lousy credit rating.’
    • ‘Was last night as close as the upstart governor will ever get to beating the patrician Senator?’
    • ‘It is a charge which the upstart organisation has been quick to dispel, stressing co-operation rather than conflict.’
    • ‘A Green Party that refuses to build bridges with allies outside of its own confines is destined to doom - as so many previous third-party upstarts learned.’
    • ‘Maybe that's hypocritical, and maybe it's just a part of the aging process - as a once-controversial practice becomes accepted, a new group of upstarts comes along.’
    • ‘So, just who are these upstarts from Clarinbridge?’
    • ‘The upstart company owns cemeteries in California, Missouri and Kansas, as well as a plot of Web space.’
    • ‘The media's role in exposing his unfortunate behaviour and upstart arrogance has been highly commendable.’
    • ‘The leader of the pride is always aware of young upstarts who will one day usurp them.’
    • ‘They're even worse than those of the XFL, the upstart football league that barely lasted a season south of the border.’
    • ‘In today's politics it is becoming a bit more difficult as people who ought to give guidance to political upstarts are themselves in front hurling invectives.’
    • ‘The guitarist leader plays with the intelligent spark of an upstart and the relaxed confidence of a veteran.’
    • ‘I keep wondering why the biggest document and content management companies remain asleep at the wheel while these upstarts are redefining the way that businesses will communicate.’
    • ‘In that area, primary voters like upstarts and outsiders.’
    • ‘The company has led the field to such an extent, and has produced so much good work over the last decade that has not been rewarded with Oscars, that I thought it a little sad that the first award went to the upstarts.’
    • ‘But be scrupulously polite to the people you criticize: A polite upstart is more tolerated than a rude one.’
    • ‘A small upstart company making a small operating system would not present much of a target to hackers, and would thus pay negligible premiums.’
    • ‘Last year the upstart newcomers not only won their division but won the League as well, earning the right to go up against the mighty New York Yankees in the World Series - they beat them.’
    parvenu, parvenue, arriviste, nouveau riche, vulgarian
    View synonyms
  • 2A series of movements on the parallel or asymmetric bars, by which a gymnast swings to a position in which their body is supported by their arms above the bar, especially at the start of a routine.