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Alternative forms




Inherited from Middle English welth, welthe (happiness, prosperity), from Old English *welþ, weleþu, from Proto-West Germanic *waliþu (wealth).

Alternatively, possibly an alteration (due to similar words in -th: compare helth (health), derth (dearth)) of wele (wealth, well-being, weal), from Old English wela (wealth, prosperity), from Proto-Germanic *walô (well-being, prosperity), from Proto-Indo-European *wel- (good, best); equivalent to weal +‎ -th. Cognate with Dutch weelde (wealth), Low German weelde (wealth), Old High German welida, welitha (wealth). Related also to German Wohl (welfare, well-being, weal), Danish vel (weal, welfare), Swedish väl (well-being, weal). More at weal, well.


  • IPA(key): /wɛlθ/, [wɛl̪θ]
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛlθ



wealth (countable and uncountable, plural wealths)

  1. (uncountable, economics) Riches; a great amount of valuable assets or material possessions.
  2. (countable) A great amount; an abundance or plenty.
    She brings a wealth of knowledge to the project.
    • 2018 July 3, Ian Sample, “Routine DNA tests will put NHS at the 'forefront of medicine'”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Beyond its aim to bring patients the most effective treatments faster, the service is expected to generate a wealth of data on the interplay between DNA, health and lifestyles, which will become a powerful tool for research into cancer and other diseases.
  3. (uncountable, obsolete) Prosperity; well-being; happiness.



Derived terms



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