Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. Abundant wealth: "the impassable gulf that lies between riches and poverty” ( Elizabeth Cady Stanton).
  • n.pl. Valuable or precious possessions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Money, goods, wealth, treasure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. That which makes one rich; an abundance of land, goods, money, or other property; wealth; opulence; affluence.
  • n.pl. That which appears rich, sumptuous, precious, or the like.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • The state of being rich, or of having large possessions in land, goods, money, or other valuable property; wealth; opulence; affluence: originally a singular noun, but from its form now regarded as plural.
  • That which makes wealthy; any valuable article or property; hence, collectively, wealth; abundant possessions; material treasures.
  • That which has a high moral value; any object of high regard or esteem; an intellectual or spiritual treasure: as, the riches of knowledge.
  • The choicest product or representative of anything; the pearl; the flower; the cream.
  • An abundance; a wealth: used as a hunting term, in the form richess or richesse. Strutt.
  • Synonyms Wealth, Affluence, etc. (see opulence), wealthiness, plenty, abundance.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an abundance of material possessions and resources

Etymologies

Middle English richesse, wealth, from Old French, from riche, wealthy; see rich.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English riches, plural of riche ("power, wealth"), from Old English rīċe ("power, authority, dominion"). Confused with Middle English richesse ("wealth"), from Old French, from riche ("rich, wealthy"), of Germanic origin, from Frankish rīki "rich" from Proto-Germanic *rīkijaz (“rich, powerful”), from Proto-Indo-European *reg- (“to straighten, direct, make right”). Akin to Old High German rīhhi ("rich") (German reich ("rich")), Old English rīċe ("rich"), Old English racu ("explanation, reasoning"). More at rich (Wiktionary)

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