Definition of rich in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪtʃ/


1Having a great deal of money or assets; wealthy: a rich and famous family (as plural noun the rich) every day the split between the rich and the poor widens
More example sentences
  • You can't argue that somehow this very rich family needs this money.
  • Simply shifting money from the rich to the poor is not the right way.
  • So, what are these schemes and are they worth considering if you find yourself in the position of being ‘asset rich but income poor’?
wealthy, affluent, moneyed, cash rich, well off, well-to-do, with deep pockets, prosperous, opulent, substantial, propertied;
North American  silk-stocking
British informal minted
informal rolling in money, rolling in it, in the money, loaded, stinking rich, filthy rich, well heeled, flush, made of money, quids in, worth a packet, worth a bundle, on easy street
informal, dated oofy
1.1(Of a country or region) having valuable natural resources or a successful economy: rich countries can afford to spend money on the environment
More example sentences
  • The implication is that protecting manufacturing industries accounts for the success of rich countries.
  • To the extent that the rich countries have bigger economies and more export trade, there is some truth in this claim.
  • The G8 summit at Gleneagles next week will discuss the likely impact of high oil prices on the global economy and what the rich countries of the west ought to do in response.
1.2Of expensive materials or workmanship; demonstrating wealth: rich mahogany furniture
More example sentences
  • The narrower the layer of individuals enjoying success and the greater their wealth, the less rich the material and the less enduring the art.
  • Sage opened the door to see a fancy room with a fair sized bed, everything in the room looked rich and expensive as well.
  • Here, as in other places, Kent's elegant furniture and rich decoration anticipated the interiors of Robert Adam.
sumptuous, opulent, luxurious, luxury, deluxe, palatial, lavish, lavishly appointed, gorgeous, splendid, magnificent, resplendent, lush, plush, costly, expensive, upmarket, fancy, stylish, elegant, exquisite, grandiose
informal posh, ritzy, swanky, plushy, classy, glitzy
British informal swish
North American informal swank
rare palatian, Lucullan
1.3Generating wealth; valuable: not all footballers enjoy rich rewards from the game
More example sentences
  • To emphasise the lack of incident, City didn't carve out an effort on goal until more than 30 minutes had passed but at least when they did it brought rich reward.
  • The long journey North played havoc with the travelling Blues support, but there was rich reward for the faithful fans who travelled.
  • The cabinet system at local level brings rich rewards for councillors in Bexley's cabinet.
2Existing in plentiful quantities; abundant: the rich flora and fauna of the forest
More example sentences
  • Most of us are limited in the time we can spend on holiday so it's a matter of choices from the rich abundance of scenic delights that are available on this road.
  • Because of the rich nerve supply to the head, neck and face, any surgery, no matter how small and routine, carries an inherent risk of cardiac arrest.
  • Although Pattaya now has a rich abundance of retail stores, a few foodstuffs are still hard or impossible to obtain.
plentiful, abundant, copious, ample, profuse, lavish, liberal, generous, bountiful, large, huge, great, bumper, overflowing, superabundant, infinite, inexhaustible, prolific
South African informal lank
literary bounteous, plenteous
2.1Having (a particular thing) in large amounts: many vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins [in combination]: a protein-rich diet
More example sentences
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products.
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also helpful.
  • No, the advantages of taking cocoa can be attained by eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
abounding in, well provided with, well supplied with, well stocked with, replete with, abundant in, rife with, crammed with, crowded with, packed with, jammed with, stuffed with, teeming with, swarming with, overflowing with, bursting with, brimful with, brimming with, loaded with, overloaded with, thick with, solid with
informal jam-packed with, chock-a-block with, chock-full of
Australian/New Zealand informal chocker with
2.2(Of food) containing a large amount of fat, spices, sugar, etc. dishes with wonderfully rich sauces
More example sentences
  • This is rich food, with spicing the owners say is unique to their restaurant.
  • The sauce was rich and delicately spiced, with a hint of turmeric and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.
  • The Swedes, heavily influenced by the French, use rich sauces in their food.
creamy, fatty, buttery, heavy, full-flavoured
2.3(Of drink) full-bodied: a rich and hoppy best bitter
More example sentences
  • The wine is very rich, but the acidity saves it from being cloying.
  • The 2003 version has settled and is a rich, full-bodied table wine.
  • To neutralize the aftertaste of balut, the festival has halo-halo, a traditional, rich drink suitable for any occasion.
full-bodied, heavy, luscious, robust, opulent, big, fruity, fat
2.4(Of the fuel and air mixture in an internal combustion engine) containing a high proportion of fuel: crank the engine until it fires and return the mixture to ‘rich’
More example sentences
  • I put my fuel mixture on rich, prop on full climb, and slowly released my brakes.
  • A black dry fluffy colored plug is caused by excessive idling of the bike or by deposits from a carburetor rich with too much gas.
3Producing a large quantity of something: novels have always been a rich source of material for the film industry
More example sentences
  • Europe, a rich source of exciting, and, for the most part, inexpensive signings, in the second half of the 1990s is now seemingly ignored.
  • ‘I've had letters published in Australia which have proved a rich source of stories,’ said Rob.
  • Keighley is a rich source of new stories and I look forward to uncovering more of them.
3.1(Of land) having the properties necessary to produce fertile growth: the city is surrounded by rich agricultural land
More example sentences
  • That's why I look at the rich agricultural land in Aberdeenshire and ask what can be done to make it generate more income and more jobs.
  • Physiographic provinces range from the High Tatras in the north to the rich agricultural lands of the plains and the Danube Basin to the south.
  • It was surrounded by rich agricultural land, while the river Wensum gave opportunities for trade with Europe.
fertile, productive, fecund, fruitful, lush, arable
3.2(Of a mine or mineral deposit) yielding a large quantity of precious metal: one of the richest phosphate mines in the West
More example sentences
  • At the moment, there is a lot of interest in the mining industry about the potential of discovering rich mineral deposits in the area.
  • A class of gentlemen farmers was emerging in Chile, some of whom had made their fortunes as a result of Chile's rich mineral deposits.
  • There are rich mineral deposits and huge timber reserves, but these are largely unexploited, and lack of foreign exchange has led to food shortages.
4(Of a colour, sound, smell, etc.) pleasantly deep or strong: his rich bass voice basmati rice has a rich aroma
More example sentences
  • Their skills combined to produce the modern windows with bright rich colours and strong design that Spence wanted.
  • The image is generally sharp with rich colours, deep blacks and good shadow detail.
  • Her hair was a dark brown, a rich colour that matched her eyes.
strong, deep, full, intense, vivid, brilliant, warm, vibrant, graphic
sonorous, full, resonant, ringing, vibrant, deep, clear, mellow, mellifluous, melodious, full-bodied, strong, booming, fruity
rare mellifluent
5Interesting because full of variety: what a full, rich life you lead!
More example sentences
  • Waterloo's culture is rich and full of interesting facts, periods and places.
  • George led a full and rich life that has touched and brought joy to many of us.
  • Roundabout at Bangalow is a delight - subtle, amusing and full of rich details that bring much of the last century to life.
6 informal (Of a remark) causing ironic amusement or indignation: these comments are a bit rich coming from a woman with no money worries
More example sentences
  • Gerry Adams said it was a bit rich of David Trimble to belatedly complain about his little trip to London to deliver an important speech.
  • So it's a bit rich for Mr Rudd to come out and criticise the Government over relations with PNG.
  • Criticism of over-specialisation is a bit rich from one who is herself exactly that, a haematologist.
preposterous, outrageous, unreasonable, absurd, ironic, ridiculous, ludicrous, laughable, risible
informal a bit much, a joke, a laugh, priceless
British informal over the top, OTT, a bit thick


Old English rīce 'powerful, wealthy', of Germanic origin, related to Dutch rijk and German reich; ultimately from Celtic; reinforced in Middle English by Old French riche 'rich, powerful'.

  • The Anglo-Saxons would probably have understood the US novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald's remark to Ernest Hemingway: ‘Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.’ In Old English rich meant both ‘powerful’ and ‘wealthy’. The idea of unlimited wealth led to an association of ‘given without restraint’, and in the 18th century rich began to mean ‘outrageous, beyond acceptable limits’, which gave us a bit rich in reference to something causing ironic amusement or exasperation. Riches for ‘wealth’ is strictly speaking not a plural of rich, but from French richesse ‘wealth’.

Words that rhyme with rich

bewitch, bitch, ditch, enrich, fitch, flitch, glitch, hitch, itch, kitsch, Mitch, pitch, quitch, snitch, stitch, switch, titch, twitch, which, witch

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: rich

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