adjective, richer, richest.
having wealth or great possessions; abundantly supplied with resources, means, or funds; wealthy: a rich man; a rich nation.
abounding in natural resources: a rich territory.
having wealth or valuable resources (usually followed by in ): a country rich in traditions.
abounding (usually followed by in or with ): a countryside rich in beauty; a design rich with colors.
of great value or worth; valuable: a rich harvest.
(of food) delectably and perhaps unhealthfully spicy, or sweet and abounding in butter or cream: a rich gravy; a rich pastry.
costly, expensively elegant, or fine, as dress or jewels.
sumptuous; elaborately abundant: a rich feast.
using valuable materials or characterized by elaborate workmanship, as buildings or furniture.
abounding in desirable elements or qualities: a man rich in kindness.
(of wine) strong and finely flavored.
(of color) deep, strong, or vivid: rich purple.
full and mellow in tone: rich sounds; a rich voice.
strongly fragrant; pungent: a rich odor.
producing or yielding abundantly: a rich soil.
abundant, plentiful, or ample: a rich supply.
Automotive. (of a mixture in a fuel system) having a relatively high ratio of fuel to air (contrasted with lean ).
highly amusing.
ridiculous; absurd.
(used with a plural verb) rich persons collectively (usually preceded by the ): new tax shelters for the rich.

before 900; Middle English; Old English rīce (adj.) ≪ Celtic; cognate with German reich wealthy; akin to Latin rēx, Sanskrit rājan king

richly, adverb
richness, noun
overrich, adjective
overrichly, adverb
overrichness, noun
superrich, adjective, noun
ultrarich, adjective, noun

1. well-to-do, moneyed. Rich, wealthy, affluent all indicate abundance of possessions. Rich is the general word; it may imply that possessions are newly acquired: an oilman who became rich overnight. Wealthy suggests permanence, stability, and appropriate surroundings: a wealthy banker. Affluent usually suggests a generous amount of income, with a high standard of living and some social prestige and privilege: an affluent family. 5. bountiful, copious, luxuriant. 7. precious, high-priced, dear. 12. intense, vibrant. 14. aromatic. 15. fruitful, productive, prolific, luxuriant. 16. bountiful, copious, abounding, bounteous.

1–5, 15, 16. poor. Unabridged


Adrienne, born 1929, U.S. poet and feminist.
a male given name, form of Richard.


plural noun
abundant and valuable possessions; wealth.

1175–1225; Middle English, plural of Middle English riche wealth, power (Old English rīce power, rule; cognate with German Reich realm); confused with Middle English richesse wealth < Old French, equivalent to riche wealthy (< Germanic; see rich) + -esse -ess Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rich (rɪtʃ)
adj (when postpositive, usually foll by in) (when postpositive, usually foll by in or with)
1.  a.  well supplied with wealth, property, etc; owning much
 b.  (as collective noun; preceded by the): the rich
2.  having an abundance of natural resources, minerals, etc: a land rich in metals
3.  producing abundantly; fertile: rich soil
4.  well supplied (with desirable qualities); abundant (in): a country rich with cultural interest
5.  of great worth or quality; valuable: a rich collection of antiques
6.  luxuriant or prolific: a rich growth of weeds
7.  expensively elegant, elaborate, or fine; costly: a rich display
8.  (of food) having a large proportion of flavoursome or fatty ingredients, such as spices, butter, or cream
9.  having a full-bodied flavour: a rich ruby port
10.  (of a smell) pungent or fragrant
11.  (of colour) intense or vivid; deep: a rich red
12.  (of sound or a voice) full, mellow, or resonant
13.  Compare weak (of a fuel-air mixture) containing a relatively high proportion of fuel
14.  very amusing, laughable, or ridiculous: a rich joke; a rich situation
15.  See riches
[Old English rīce (originally of persons: great, mighty), of Germanic origin, ultimately from Celtic (compare Old Irish king)]

Rich (rɪtʃ)
1.  Adrienne. born 1929, US poet and feminist writer; her volumes of poetry include Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (1963) and Diving Into the Wreck (1973)
2.  Buddy, real name Bernard Rich. 1917--87, US jazz drummer and band leader

riches (ˈrɪtʃɪz)
pl n
wealth; an abundance of money, valuable possessions, or property

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. rice "wealthy, powerful, mighty," from P.Gmc. *rikijaz (cf. O.N. rikr, O.H.G. rihhi "ruler, powerful, rich," O.Fris. rike, Du. rijk, Ger. reich "rich," Goth. reiks "ruler, powerful, rich"), borrowed from a Celtic source akin to Gaulish *rix, O.Ir. ri (gen. rig) "king," from PIE base *reg- "move
in a straight line," hence, "direct, rule" (see rex). The form of the word infl. in M.E. by O.Fr. riche "wealthy," from Frank. *riki "powerful," from the Gmc. source. The evolution of the word reflects a connection between wealth and power in the ancient world. Of food and colors, from early 14c.; of sounds, from 1590s. Sense of "entertaining, amusing" is recorded from 1760. The noun meaning "the wealthy" was in O.E.

"valued possessions, money, property," c.1200, modified from richesse (12c.), a singular form misunderstood as a plural, from O.Fr. richesse "wealth, opulence," from riche. The O.Fr. suffix -esse is from L. -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality (cf. duress, largesse).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with rich, also see embarrassment of riches; from rags to riches; strike it rich.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences for Rich
It is dominated by rolling plains, with rich soil, and adequate rainfall.
Basically, the rich became richer and the poor became poorer.
These paintings are known for their elegance, rich colors, and attention to
The result is a rich contrast of sweet, savoury, and salty flavours.
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