Definition of social climbing in US English:

social climbing

noun

derogatory
  • See social climber

    • ‘But as others have noted, there's a lot of social climbing at these events.’
    • ‘A culture of social climbing and grandiose political gestures was expressed visually in the decoration of domestic space with elaborate painted wall schemes, bronze and marble sculpture, and extravagant minor arts.’
    • ‘Yet for all the social climbing and craving for acceptance, there were times when Archer showed genuine humility.’
    • ‘Was love more important than wealth or did romance take a back seat to social climbing?’
    • ‘The mythological paintings and mosaics thus become primarily symbols of ‘high culture,’ an indispensable accessory to social climbing.’