1. a person who has risen suddenly from a humble position to wealth, power, or a position of consequence.
  2. a presumptuous and objectionable person who has so risen; parvenu.


  1. being, resembling, or characteristic of an upstart.

verb (used without object)

  1. to spring into existence or into view.
  2. to start up; spring up, as to one’s feet.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cause to start up.

noun (ˈʌpˌstɑːt)

    1. a person, group, etc, that has risen suddenly to a position of power or wealth
    2. (as modifier)an upstart tyrant; an upstart family
    1. an arrogant or presumptuous person
    2. (as modifier)his upstart ambition

verb (ʌpˈstɑːt)

  1. (intr) archaic to start up, as in surprise, etc

1550s, “one newly risen in importance or rank, a parvenu,” also start-up, from up + start (v.) in the sense of “jump, spring, rise.” Cf. the archaic verb upstart “to spring to one’s feet,” attested from c.1300.

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