from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having great material wealth.
  • adjective Having great worth or value.
  • adjective Made of or containing valuable materials.
  • adjective Magnificent; sumptuous.
  • adjective Abundant or productive, as.
  • adjective Having an abundant supply.
  • adjective Abounding in natural resources.
  • adjective Having many nutrients for plant growth; fertile.
  • adjective Very productive and therefore financially profitable.
  • adjective Containing a large amount of choice ingredients, such as butter, sugar, or eggs, and therefore unusually heavy or sweet.
  • adjective Strong in aroma or flavor.
  • adjective Containing a large proportion of fuel to air.
  • adjective Pleasantly full and mellow.
  • adjective Warm and strong in color.
  • adjective Highly varied, developed, or complex.
  • adjective Informal Highly amusing, often for being absurd or preposterous.
  • noun Wealthy people considered as a group. Often used with the.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To enrich.
  • To grow rich.
  • Richly.
  • To stretch; pull.
  • To direct.
  • To adjust; set right.
  • To address; set (one's self to do a thing).
  • To dress.
  • To mend; improve.
  • To avenge.
  • To take one's way.
  • Ruling; powerful; mighty; noble.
  • Having wealth or large possessions; possessed of much money, goods, land, or other valuable property; wealthy; opulent: opposed to poor.
  • Amply supplied or equipped; abundantly provided; abounding: often followed by in or with.
  • Abundant in materials; producing or yielding abundantly; productive; fertile; fruitful: as, a rich mine; rich ore; rich soil.
  • Of great price or money value; costly; expensive; sumptuous; magnificent: as, rich jewels; rich gifts.
  • Of great moral worth; highly esteemed; invaluable; precious.
  • Ample; copious; abundant; plentiful; luxuriant.
  • Abounding in desirable or effective qualities or elements; of superior quality, composition, or potency.
  • Hence, specifically Having a pleasing or otherwise marked effect upon the senses by virtue of the abundance of some characteristic quality.
  • Pleasing to the ear; full or mellow in tone; harmonious; sweet.
  • Pleasing to the eye, through strength and beauty of hue; pure and strong; vivid: applied especially to color.
  • [Rich as applied to colors in zoölogy has a restricted meaning, which, however, is very difficult to define. A metallic, lustrous, or iridescent color is not rich; the word is generally applied to soft and velvety colors which are pure and distinct, as a rich black, a rich scarlet spot, etc., just as we speak of rich velvets, but generally of bright or glossy silks. Vivid is very rich or very distinct.]
  • Pleasing to the sense of smell; full of fragrance; sweet-scented; aromatic.
  • Excessive; extravagant; inordinate; outrageous; preposterous: commonly applied to ideas, fancies, fabrications, claims, demands, pretensions, conceits, jests, tricks, etc.: as, a rich notion; a rich idea; rich impudence; a rich joke; a rich hoax.
  • [This word is often used in the formation of compounds which are self-explanatory: as, rich-colored, rich-fleeced, rich-haired, rich-laden, etc.]
  • Synonyms and Affluent.
  • Fertile. etc. (see fruitful), luxuriant, teeming.
  • 5 and Splendid, valuable.
  • Copious, plenteous.


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

[Middle English riche, from Old French (of Germanic origin) and from Old English rīce, strong, powerful; see reg- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English riche ("strong, powerful, rich"), from Old English rīċe ("powerful, mighty, great, high-ranking, rich, wealthy, strong, potent"), from Proto-Germanic *rīkijaz (“powerful, rich”), probably from Proto-Celtic *rīgos (“of a ruler or king”, genitive case), from Proto-Indo-European *reg- (“to straighten, direct, make right”). Cognate with West Frisian ryk ("rich"), Dutch rijk ("rich"), German reich ("rich"), Danish rig ("rich"), Icelandic ríkur ("rich"). The Middle English word was reinforced by Old French riche, from the same Proto-Germanic root.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word rich.


  • Obama: \'Americans don\'t resent the rich, they wanna be rich\ ''; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: No, Mr. President, not most Americans.

    American Values? Obama: 'Americans don't resent the rich, they wanna be rich' 2009

  • 'You can see that this is welfare of the rich, it is socialism for the rich… it's just bailing out financial institutions,' Rogers said.

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: US Is "More Communist than China": Jim Rogers 2008

  • "You can see that this is welfare of the rich, it is socialism for the rich… it\'s just bailing out financial institutions," Rogers said. '

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: US Is "More Communist than China": Jim Rogers 2008

  • Fancy Wynter, of all men, dying rich -- actually _rich_.

    A Little Rebel A Novel

  • Keep not from me her rich bequest: -- _rich_ indeed, -- her most valuable treasure.

    Barford Abbey Susannah Minific Gunning

  • If the soil is rich -- and it can hardly be _too rich_, for these Roses, like those of the kinds treated of in the foregoing chapter, require strong food and a great deal of it in order to do themselves justice -- this bud will soon develop into a vigorous branch which, like the original one, will bear a cluster of flowers.

    Amateur Gardencraft A Book for the Home-Maker and Garden Lover 1882

  • To illustrate this position, having already mentioned the case of a poor and rich brother, he remarks, that this preference is given to wealth by those whom it least becomes; _it is the_ pastour _that greases or_ flatters _the rich_ brother, and will grease him on till _want makes him leave_.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies Samuel Johnson 1746

  • If we don't save the rich people today they might be extinct tomorrow just like the dinosaurs. * shedding a fake tear for the plight of the rich* knixphan Says:

    Think Progress 2009

  • "He says folks are going to laugh _at_ us or _with_ us, and -- and rich people have got to _act rich_.

    Flowing Gold Rex Ellingwood Beach 1913

  • "A rich English merchant?" interrupted Moses, "we Jews are acquainted pretty well with all the _rich_ English merchants.

    Under the Waves Diving in Deep Waters Francis B. Pearson 1859


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Some people get so rich they lose all respect for humanity. That's how rich I want to be." Rita Rudner.

    February 10, 2007