Definition of rich in English:

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Pronunciation: /riCH/


1Having a great deal of money or assets; wealthy: most of these artists are already quite rich (as plural noun the rich) every day the gap 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, well off, well-to-do, prosperous, opulent, silk-stocking
informal rolling in money, rolling in it, rolling in (the) dough, in the money, loaded, flush, stinking rich, filthy rich, well heeled, made of money
1.1(Of a country or region) having valuable natural resources or a successful economy.
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, lavish, gorgeous, splendid, magnificent, costly, expensive, fancy
informal posh, plush, ritzy, swanky, classy, swank
1.3Generating wealth; valuable: not all football players 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.
2Plentiful; abundant: the nation’s rich and diverse wildlife
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
literary plenteous, bounteous
2.1Having (a particular thing) in large amounts: many vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidant 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, full of, well provided with, well stocked in/with, crammed with, packed with, teeming with, bursting with
informal jam-packed with, chockablock with, chock-full of
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, heavy, full-flavored, fatty
2.3(Of drink) full-bodied: a rich, hoppy beer
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, fruity
2.4(Of the mixture in an internal combustion engine) containing a high proportion of fuel.
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 soil or a piece of land) having the properties necessary to produce fertile growth.
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
3.2(Of a mine or mineral deposit) yielding a large quantity or proportion of precious metal.
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 color, 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
sonorous, full, resonant, deep, clear, mellow, mellifluous, full-throated
5Interesting because full of diversity or complexity: 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.


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

Syllabification: rich

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