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adjective (used before a noun) Characterized by a rise from poverty to great or exceptional wealth. My uncle's is a true rags-to-riches story: he grew up without a penny, but through sheer determination, he founded his own company and is now one of the wealthiest men in the state.

an embarrassment of riches

Too much or more than enough of a desired or needed thing. There are so many stellar applicants for the job that we can't choose between them—it's truly an embarrassment of riches.
See also: embarrassment, of, riches

go from rags to riches

To rise from poverty to great or exceptional wealth. My uncle's truly gone from rags to riches: he grew up without a penny, but through sheer determination, he founded his own company and is now one of the wealthiest men in the state.
See also: rag, riches

from rags to riches

Fig. from poverty to wealth; from modesty to elegance. The princess used to be quite poor. She certainly moved from rags to riches. After I inherited the money, I went from rags to riches.
See also: rag, riches

embarrassment of riches

An overabundance of something, too much of a good thing, as in All four of them have their own cars but there's no room in the driveway-an embarrassment of riches . This term originated in 1738 as John Ozell's translation of a French play, L'Embarras des richesses (1726).
See also: embarrassment, of, riches

from rags to riches

From being poor to being wealthy, especially through one's own efforts. For example, The invention catapulted the scientist from rags to riches. Horatio Alger (1834-1899) popularized this theme in some 130 best-selling novels, in which the hero, through hard work and thrift, pulled himself out of poverty to wealth and happiness.
See also: rag, riches

an embarrassment of riches

If you have an embarrassment of riches, you have so many good things or options that you cannot decide which to have or do. With three matches being screened live simultaneously, football fans have an embarrassment of riches to choose from.
See also: embarrassment, of, riches

rags to riches

COMMON If you describe someone's life as a rags to riches story, you are saying that they were very poor when they were young but became very rich and successful later in life. His life sounds to me like the classic rags to riches story. He married some money, I gather, then made a lot more. Note: You can also say that someone goes from rags to riches or rises from rags to riches. When asked how he went from rags to riches, Plunkett said, `I saw my opportunities and I took them.' People who rise from rags to riches are often afraid the good life will be snatched away from them. Note: People sometimes use the expression riches to rags to mean that you have been very rich but have lost a lot of money and so have become very poor. The country went from riches to rags in a generation.
See also: rag, riches

(from) rags to riches

used to describe a person's rise from a state of extreme poverty to one of great wealth.
2000 Imogen Edwards-Jones My Canapé Hell Much was made of his East End roots, his chance discovery on Oxford Street. He was truly a modern day tale of rags to riches.
See also: rag, riches

an emˌbarrassment of ˈriches

so many good things that it is difficult to choose just one: Stratford has an embarrassment of riches, what with three theatres and lovely countryside too.
See also: embarrassment, of, riches

from ˌrags to ˈriches

(informal) from being very poor to being very rich, especially in a short period of time: She went from rags to riches in less than five years. ▶ ˌrags-to-ˈriches adj.: It was a real rags-to-riches story.
See also: rag, riches
References in periodicals archive ?
Denise Jackman, mitigating, said, although Riches had pleaded guilty on that occasion, he'd wanted to stay in custody until a pre-sentence report was prepared.
Samuel Downey, Head of Casino and Games at Sky Vegas, said, "Rainbow Riches is one of our favourite slot games.
Despite the loss, Anna Maria got strong performances from Riches, who plays defense, and freshmen Sarah Benvenuti, Kaitlyn O'Shea-Rabbett and Jennifer Scudder.
Nous vous en parlions recemment, cet aliment plaisir est riche en flavonoides, reputes pour leurs vertus relaxantes [la camomille en est une autre source importante, ndlr].
As with the majority of Microgaming slots, Riviera Riches also offers the familiar presence of Wilds and Scatter symbols.
But after meeting Micah in 2007, Riches confessed to suffocating crying Melanin by pushingherheaddowntheside of the couch in 1985.
DURHAM CITY: Riches, Munter, Wrenn, Winter, Stoker, Ayers, Graham, Stephenson (Gohery), Ayre, Cutts (Jobling), Shaw (Taylor).
Mr Riches said that following an article in the Daily Post last month about the UK's first online e-business scheme for town and city centres he has received an enquiry from Rhosneigr asking whether the scheme could be used on part or all of Anglesey.
Since he was incarcerated in 2003 after pleading guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy charges as part of an identity theft ring, Riches has filed some 1,500 lawsuits, including more than 500 in federal district courts, naming any and every person, place or concept that has ever crossed his mind.
All those summer setbacks caught up with Rags to Riches.
When The Riches, which stars Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver, first came out this month, it was feared it would receive a storm of criticism for portraying Irish people as criminals and drunks.
Daring to choose riches, he travels through a dangerous world, and achieves the wealth he sought, but at a cost.
With its emphasis on low-cost, low-budget efforts and small-budget marketing, INTERNET RICHES is a top pick indeed, surpassing the competition in scope and coverage.
In the 19th century, intense competition for Africa's mineral riches led to disputes between several European powers.
Les tres riches heures de Siddieqa, Firdaus, Abdallah, Soelayman, Moestafa, Hawwa et Dzoel-kifl.