1. Having an abundance of material possessions; possessed of a large amount of property; well supplied with land, goods, or money; wealthy; opulent; affluent; opposed to poor. "Rich merchants." "The rich [person] hath many friends." (Prov. Xiv. 20) "As a thief, bent to unhoard the cash Of some rich burgher." (Milton)

2. Hence, in general, well supplied; abounding; abundant; copious; bountiful; as, a rich treasury; a rich entertainment; a rich crop. "If life be short, it shall be glorious; Each minute shall be rich in some great action." (Rowe) "The gorgeous East with richest hand Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold." (Milton)

3. Yielding large returns; productive or fertile; fruitful; as, rich soil or land; a rich mine.

4. Composed of valuable or costly materials or ingredients; procured at great outlay; highly valued; precious; sumptuous; costly; as, a rich dress; rich silk or fur; rich presents. "Like to rich and various gems." (Milton)

5. Abounding in agreeable or nutritive qualities; especially applied to articles of food or drink which are high-seasoned or abound in oleaginous ingredients, or are sweet, luscious, and high-flavoured; as, a rich dish; rich cream or soup; rich pastry; rich wine or fruit. "Sauces and rich spices are fetched from India." (Baker)

6. Not faint or delicate; vivid; as, a rich colour.

7. Full of sweet and harmonius sounds; as, a rich voice; rich music.

8. Abounding in beauty; gorgeous; as, a rich landscape; rich scenery.

9. Abounding in humor; exciting amusement; entertaining; as, the scene was a rich one; a rich incident or character.

Rich is sometimes used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, rich-fleeced, rich-jeweled, rich-laden, rich-stained.

Synonyms: Wealthy, affluent, opulent, ample, copious, abundant, plentiful, fruitful, costly, sumptuous, precious, generous, luscious.

Origin: OE. Riche, AS. Rice rich, powerful; akin to OS. Riki, D. Rijk, G. Reich, OHG. Rihhi, Icel. Rikr, Sw. Rik, Dan. Rig, Goth. Reiks; from a word meaning, ruler, king, probably borrowed from Celtic, and akin to L. Rex, regis, king, regere to guide, rule. See Right, and cf. Derrick, Enrich, Rajah, Riches, Royal.

(01 Mar 1998)

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