embarrassment of riches

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From John Ozell's 1738 translation of a French play, L'Embarras des richesses (1726) by Léonor Jean Christine Soulas d'Allainval.


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embarrassment of riches (plural embarrassments of riches)

  1. (idiomatic) An abundance or overabundance of something; too much of a good thing.
    • 1908, Myrtle Reed, chapter 23, in Flower of the Dusk:
      Roger was in the library, trying to choose, from an embarrassment of riches, the ten of his father's books which he was to be permitted to take to the city.
    • 2006 Jan. 8, Daniel Ginsberg, "Opera in Berlin: A Staat of Flux," Washington Post, p. N06:
      What might be an embarrassment of riches—a city with three independent and artistically distinct opera companies—may become a lose-lose-lose situation.