Someone who’s nouveau-riche has recently become wealthy and enjoys spending money. Your nouveau-riche neighbor might buy six expensive cars and put lion sculptures in his front yard.

The term nouveau-riche is a derogatory term meant to mock people who have a lot of money but don’t have the good taste to spend it in a “classy” way. The implication is that it’s more socially acceptable to inherit money and the long traditions that go with it than to suddenly become wealthy. Nouveau-riche, “new rich” in French, dates from 1813, but the idea goes back to the ancient Greek concept of neo-ploutos.

Definitions of nouveau-riche
  1. adjective

    characteristic of someone who has risen economically or socially but lacks the social skills appropriate for this new position

    parvenu, parvenue, upstart


    making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction
  2. noun

    a person who has suddenly risen to a higher economic status but has not gained social acceptance of others in that class

    arriviste, parvenu, upstart
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    climber, social climber

    someone seeking social prominence by obsequious behavior

    term of address for a disrespectful and annoying male

    someone who tries to attract social lions as guests
    type of:

    disagreeable person, unpleasant person

    a person who is not pleasant or agreeable

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