[ rich ]
/ rɪtʃ /

adjective, rich·er, rich·est.


(used with a plural verb) rich persons collectively (usually preceded by the): new tax shelters for the rich.

Nearby words

  1. ricebird,
  2. ricer,
  3. ricercar,
  4. ricercare,
  5. ricey,
  6. rich as croesus,
  7. rich rhyme,
  8. rich, adrienne,
  9. richard,
  10. richard coeur de lion

Origin of rich

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

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.

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for richness

British Dictionary definitions for richness


/ (ˈrɪtʃˌnɪs) /


the state or quality of being rich
ecology the number of individuals of a species in a given area


/ (rɪtʃ) /


Adrienne. 1929–2012, US poet and feminist writer; her volumes of poetry include Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (1963) and Diving Into the Wreck (1973)
Buddy, real name Bernard Rich . 1917–87, US jazz drummer and band leader


/ (rɪtʃ) /



See riches

Word Origin for rich

Old English rīce (originally of persons: great, mighty), of Germanic origin, ultimately from Celtic (compare Old Irish king)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for richness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with richness


In addition to the idiom beginning with rich

  • rich as Croesus

also see:

  • embarrassment of riches
  • from rags to riches
  • strike it rich
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.