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Aug 22, 2011
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words
parvenu
nubile
mountebank
losel
penurious

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

From the most noble soul to the most dastardly individual, we all share a wide spectrum of traits. It would be rare to find a person who can be completely characterized by a single word. This week AWAD will explore five adjectives that will help you describe people you may encounter. Can you see the face of a friend, relative, neighbor, or co-worker in these assorted arrangements of the alphabet?

parvenu

PRONUNCIATION:
(PAHR-vuh-noo, -nyoo)

MEANING:
noun: One who has newly acquired wealth or status, but has not yet gained acceptance by others in that class.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French parvenu (upstart), from parvenir (to arrive), from Latin per- (through) + venire (to come). Earliest documented use: 1787.

USAGE:
"To some, Charles Clore's philanthropy was seen as parvenu social climbing."
Andrew Anthony; Vivien Duffield: The Woman Who Thinks It's Better to Give; The Observer (London, UK); Mar 27, 2011.

See more usage examples of parvenu in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls. -John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)

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