One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An ambitious or ruthlessly self-seeking person, especially one who has recently acquired wealth or social status.
social climber, status seeker, would-be, go-getter, self-seeker, adventurer, adventuressView synonyms
- ‘They are tough, but decent, clearly not posh Labour party arrivistes, and they clearly have the Labour party in their veins.’
- ‘One strand of poetry, even today, represents the resentment of the old middle class at finding its assets devalued by a flood of competition; its hauteur towards the arriviste working class graduates.’
- ‘What's more at the end of the day, Conrad Black was still Conrad Black: egotist, aspirant and arriviste.’
- ‘The ‘image’ of a city like Tokyo or New York might well come from star-struck arrivistes rather than locals.’
- ‘Believe me, the work of a line cook in a restaurant catering to the tastes of arriviste Texans is even more boring than it is cracked up to be.’
- ‘As the Van Doren family play their favourite parlour game - trading Shakespearian quotes across the dinner table - an arriviste young lawyer watches, open-mouthed and clearly intimidated.’
- ‘Full of arrivistes and the new rich for whom desperate consumption was a proof of being, its secret world (secret, that is, to all not admitted to the charmed circles of the West End) revolved around sex and gambling.’
- ‘Even the arrivistes in California understood the sophistication required for a vigneron, commissioning fine architects to enhance their vineyards with beautiful buildings.’
- ‘Given the Marxian reduction of everything to class interests, it is obvious that a petit bourgeois arriviste such as Ms. Rodham-Clinton can neither command the allegiance of the proletariat nor enjoy the trust of the capitalists.’
- ‘There are many Irish arrivistes keen to be seen in these places regardless of whether they get clotted cream, proper cucumber sandwiches or a bit of crumpet.’
- ‘The ranks of modern royalty are crowded with arrivistes.’
- ‘Many, such as Fielding's cousin Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, would go on laughing at Richardson, the anxious arriviste, for his ‘low’ pretensions to gentility.’
- ‘Distinguishing between a painted lady of ancient noble lineage and a lady with arriviste social ambitions who availed herself of face paint with equal liberality is no longer a matter of reading fixed signs on the surface of the body.’
- ‘He stands out among the arriviste engineers who dominate the tech industry, combining aristocratic reserve with a merchant's frugality and the obsessive drive of an entrepreneur.’
- ‘They've been replaced in the Commons by the suburban arrivistes who now dominate the Tory benches; they've lost their feudal right to sit in the Lords.’
- ‘In Thackeray's next full-length novel, the Newcomes are so called because they are both a nouveau riche and an arriviste family.’
- ‘Michael Armstrong spoofs the pretensions of bourgeois arrivistes, while describing the horrors of child labor and documenting its heroine's mounting inquisitiveness and willingness to intervene.’
- ‘They merely confirmed that, for the second time in two decades, the BBC had lost one of its treasured institutions to the arrivistes of commercial television.’
- ‘Like a lot of new-money arrivistes, Target can make grand gestures, but it gets the details wrong.’
- ‘Many more felt a sentimental attachment to Jacobitism, or at least alienation from the arriviste courts of William III and the Georges.’
- ‘Jean Chretien (though now wealthy) is an outsider, an arriviste, and a rags-to-riches political scrapper.’
Early 20th century: from French, from arriver (see arrive).
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