Definition of rich adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//rɪtʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪtʃ//
    (richer, richest)
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    with a lot of money
  1. 1  having a lot of money or property one of the richest women in the world Nobody gets rich from writing nowadays. (slang) to be filthy/stinking (= extremely) rich opposite poor Synonymsrichwealthy prosperous affluent well off comfortableThese words all describe somebody/​something that has a lot of money, property or valuable possessions.rich (of a person) having a lot of money, property or valuable possessions; (of a country or city) producing a lot of wealth so that many of its people can live at a high standardwealthy richrich or wealthy?There is no real difference in meaning between these two words. Both are very frequent, but rich is more frequent and can be used in some fixed phrases where wealthy cannot:He’s stinking/​filthy wealthy. It’s a favourite resort for the wealthy and famous.prosperous (rather formal) rich and successfulaffluent (rather formal) rich and with a good standard of living:affluent Western countries prosperous or affluent?Both prosperous and affluent are used to talk about people and places. Prosperous is used much more than affluent to talk about times and periods. Affluent is often used to contrast rich people or societies with poor ones. Being prosperous is nearly always seen as a good thing:It’s good to see you looking so prosperous. It’s good to see you looking so affluent.well off (often used in negative sentences) rich:His family is not very well off. The opposite of well off is badly off, but this is not very frequent; it is more common to say that somebody is not well off.comfortable having enough money to buy what you want without worrying about the cost:They’re not millionaires, but they’re certainly very comfortable.Patterns a(n) rich/​wealthy/​prosperous/​affluent/​well-off family a rich/​wealthy/​prosperous/​well-off man/​woman a(n) rich/​wealthy/​prosperous/​affluent country/​city
  2. 2the rich noun [plural] people who have a lot of money or property It's a favourite resort for the rich and famous. opposite poor More Like This Plural adjectival nouns the blind, the deaf, the destitute, the dead, the dying, the elderly, the faithful, the homeless, the injured, the insane, the jobless, the middle aged, the old, the poor, the rich, the sick, the squeamish, the wealthy, the wicked, the wounded, the youngSee worksheet.
  3. 3  (of a country) producing a lot of wealth so that many of its people can live at a high standard the richest countries/economies/nations opposite poor
  4. full of variety
  5. 4  very interesting and full of variety the region’s rich history and culture She leads a rich and varied life.
  6. containing/providing something
  7. 5  rich (in something) (often in compounds) containing or providing a large supply of something Oranges are rich in vitamin C. The area is rich in wildlife. His novels are a rich source of material for the movie industry. iron-rich rocks opposite poor
  8. food
  9. 6  containing a lot of fat, butter, eggs, etc. and making you feel full quickly a rich creamy sauce a rich chocolate cake
  10. soil
  11. 7containing the substances that make it good for growing plants in synonym fertile a rich well-drained soil opposite poor
  12. colours/sounds
  13. 8(of colours, sounds, smells and tastes) strong or deep; very beautiful or pleasing rich dark reds
  14. expensive
  15. 9(literary) expensive and beautiful synonym sumptuous The rooms were decorated with rich fabrics.
  16. criticism
  17. 10(informal, especially British English) used to say that a criticism somebody makes is surprising and not reasonable, because they have the same fault Me? Lazy? That's rich, coming from you!
  18. compare richness
    Word OriginOld 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’.Extra examples It was mean of her only to give £1—she’s filthy rich, you know. Me? Lazy? That’s a bit rich coming from you. The sun-dried tomatoes give the dish a wonderfully rich flavour. The wine gives the dish a wonderfully rich aroma. This discovery never made her rich. a culturally rich nation a newly rich businessman people who want to get rich quickly the exceptionally rich fishing grounds of the North Pacific Doughty’s genius made him fabulously rich but he never changed his style of life. He’s stinking/​filthy rich. Her rich contralto voice filled the concert hall. Rich countries can afford to spend more on the environment. She’s one of the richest women in the world. The colour of the flower is a rich deep red. The system still favours the economies of richer nations. Very few people get rich from writing nowadays. rich farming land the rich sound of the organ the rich tones of autumnIdioms (informal) to get a lot of money, especially suddenly or unexpectedly
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: rich