rich

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

rich (comparative richer, superlative richest)

  1. Wealthy: having a lot of money and possessions.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, 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”, 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 a fatty, intense flavour.
    a rich dish; rich cream or soup; rich pastry
    • Baker
      Sauces and rich spices are fetched from India.
  3. Plentiful, abounding, abundant, fulfilling.
    a rich treasury; a rich entertainment; a rich crop
    • Rowe
      If life be short, it shall be glorious; / Each minute shall be rich in some great action.
    • Milton
      The gorgeous East with richest hand / Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold.
    • 2013 July 27, “Battle of the bulge”, 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 dress; rich silk or fur; rich presents
    • Milton
      rich and various gems
  6. Not faint or delicate; vivid.
    a rich red colour
  7. (informal, dated) Very amusing.
    The scene was a rich one.
    a rich incident or character
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Thackeray to this entry?)
  8. (informal) Ridiculous, absurd.
  9. Used to form adjectives when combined with common nouns for things considered desirable in the context. The resulting adjectives usually mean "abounding in (common noun)".
  10. (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.
  11. 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.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

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Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (obsolete) To enrich.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Gower to this entry?)

Statistics[edit]