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.

  • Richly.
  • 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.
  • Savory, delicious.
  • To enrich.
  • To grow rich.
  • 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.


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.


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

    February 10, 2007