See also: Rich, rích, and -rich



From Middle English riche (strong, powerful, rich), reinforced by Old French riche from Old English rīċe (powerful, mighty, great, high-ranking, rich, wealthy, strong, potent), from Proto-West Germanic *rīkī, from Proto-Germanic *rīkijaz (powerful, rich).



rich (comparative richer, superlative richest)

  1. Wealthy: having a lot of money and possessions.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      “A very welcome, kind, useful present, that means to the parish. By the way, Hopkins, let this go no further. We don't want the tale running round that a rich person has arrived. Churchill, my dear fellow, we have such greedy sharks, and wolves in lamb's clothing. […]”
    • 2013 May 17, George Monbiot, “Money just makes the rich suffer”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 23, page 19:
      In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. The welfare state is dismantled. […]
  2. Having an intense fatty or sugary flavour.
    a rich dish; rich cream or soup; rich pastry
    • 1929, Robert Dean Frisbee, The Book of Puka-Puka (republished by Eland, 2019; p. 116):
      It is the richest food I have ever eaten, and for this reason I soon learned to partake of it sparingly.
    • 1709-1710, Thomas Baker, Reflections on Learning
      High sauces and rich spices are fetch'd from the Indies.
  3. Plentiful, abounding, abundant, fulfilling.
    a rich treasury; a rich entertainment; a rich crop
    • 1707, Nicholas Rowe, The Royal Convert
      Tho' my Date of mortal Life be short, it shall be glorious; / Each minute shall be rich in some great action.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 2”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      The gorgeous East with richest hand / Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold.
    • 2013 July 27, “Battle of the bulge”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8846:
      For countries with rich culinary traditions that date back to the Aztecs and Incas, Mexico and Peru have developed quite a taste for modern food fashions. Mexicans quaff more fizzy drinks than any other country; Peru has the highest density of fast-food joints in the world.
  4. Yielding large returns; productive or fertile; fruitful.
    rich soil or land; a rich mine
  5. Composed of valuable or costly materials or ingredients; procured at great outlay; highly valued; precious; sumptuous; costly.
    a rich endowment; a rich dress; rich silk or fur; rich presents
  6. Not faint or delicate; vivid.
    a rich red colour
  7. (informal) Very amusing.
    The scene was a rich one.
    a rich incident or character
  8. (informal) Ridiculous, absurd, outrageous, preposterous, especially in a galling, hypocritical, or brazen way.
    • 1858, William Brown (of Montreal), The Commercial Crisis: Its Cause and Cure (page 28)
      Now, if money be a marketable commodity like flour, as the Witness states, is it not rather a rich idea that of selling the use of a barrel of flour instead of the barrel of flour itself?
    • 2017 March 8, Shashi Tharoor, “‘But What About the Railways... ?’ ​​The Myth of Britain’s Gifts to India”, in The Guardian[1], retrieved 14 April 2018:
      It is a bit rich to oppress, torture, imprison, enslave, deport and proscribe a people for 200 years, and then take credit for the fact that they are democratic at the end of it.
  9. (computing) Elaborate, having complex formatting, multimedia, or depth of interaction.
    • 2002, David Austerberry, The Technology of Video and Audio Streaming:
      A skilled multimedia developer will have no problems adding interactive video and audio into existing rich media web pages.
    • 2003, Patricia Cardoza, Patricia DiGiacomo, Using Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
      Some rich text email messages contain formatting information that's best viewed with Microsoft Word.
    • 2008, Aaron Newman, Adam Steinberg, Jeremy Thomas, Enterprise 2.0 Implementation
      But what did matter was that the new web platform provided a rich experience.
  10. Of a fuel-air mixture, having less air than is necessary to burn all of the fuel; less air- or oxygen- rich than necessary for a stoichiometric reaction.
  11. (finance) Trading at a price level which is high relative to historical trends, a similar asset, or (for derivatives) a theoretical value.
    The ETF is trading rich to NAV right now; we can arb this by selling the ETF and buying the underlying constituents.


rich pl (plural only)

  1. (Plural) People with a lot of money or property
    There'll arise opportunities for both rich and poor.




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rich (third-person singular simple present riches, present participle riching, simple past and past participle riched)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To enrich.
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To become rich.


  • rich at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • rich in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.