adj. rich·er, rich·est
1. Having great material wealth: He was so rich he didn't have to work.
a. Having great worth or value: a rich harvest.
b. Made of or containing valuable materials: rich cabinetry.
c. Magnificent; sumptuous: a rich banquet.
3. Abundant or productive, as:
a. Having an abundant supply: Meat is rich in protein.
b. Abounding in natural resources: a rich region.
c. Having many nutrients for plant growth; fertile: rich land.
d. Very productive and therefore financially profitable: rich seams of coal.
a. Containing a large amount of choice ingredients, such as butter, sugar, or eggs, and therefore unusually heavy or sweet: a rich dessert.
b. Strong in aroma or flavor: a rich coffee.
c. Containing a large proportion of fuel to air: a rich gas mixture.
a. Pleasantly full and mellow: a rich tenor voice.
b. Warm and strong in color: a rich brown velvet.
a. Highly varied: a museum showcasing a rich assortment of artworks.
b. Highly developed or complex: rich musical harmonies.
7. Informal Highly amusing, often for being absurd or preposterous.
n. (used with a pl. verb)
Wealthy people considered as a group. Often used with the: taxes paid by the very rich.
[Middle English riche, from Old French (of Germanic origin) and from Old English rīce, strong, powerful; see reg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.