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Something, especially that which is very expensive and flashy, that someone owns and displays as a means of showing of their wealth or success. In this part of the city, expensive sneakers and designer sweatshirts are the real status symbols. Nothing says "status symbol" like a single person buying a 25,000 square foot mansion all for themselves.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
A position or activity that allows one's social prestige to be displayed, as in She doesn't even drive; that car of hers is purely a status symbol. [Mid-1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
a ˈstatus symbolan expensive possession which shows people that you are rich: These cars are regarded as status symbols in Britain.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
A possession or privilege that is a mark of one’s social standing. Dating from the mid-twentieth century, this term is often used sarcastically, in effect deriding anyone who relies on status symbols for a sense of worth. The New York Times used it on September 3, 2000, in an article by Geraldine Fabrikant about lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran’s purchasing a private plane: “Mr. Cochran . . . is now hitting the major money leagues as well, and he has the status-symbol issue down pat.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer