- a person who has risen suddenly from a humble position to wealth, power, or a position of consequence.
- a presumptuous and objectionable person who has so risen; parvenu.
- being, resembling, or characteristic of an upstart.
verb (used without object)
- to spring into existence or into view.
- to start up; spring up, as to one’s feet.
verb (used with object)
- to cause to start up.
- a person, group, etc, that has risen suddenly to a position of power or wealth
- (as modifier)an upstart tyrant; an upstart family
- an arrogant or presumptuous person
- (as modifier)his upstart ambition
- (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.