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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 has 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 ?
Ridden by John Velazquez, Rags to Riches moved to the lead around the final turn, but Lear's Princess ranged up on the outside and caught her midway through the stretch.
There are people here that are so backward they will simply ban their family from watching The Riches.
Le Riche confirmed it had received a preliminary approach from Ann Street chairman Tom Scott, but declined to comment on the talks before the end of the month, when it releases its full-year results.
Not everyone can reap the riches that are available and those who do will have worked very hard for many years to obtain them.
Riches will start May 1 in the newly created position of senior VP of Loews Cineplex Intl.
Some of the top prizes in this year's United Texas Road to Riches Collect and Win Game include a vintage car valued at $100,000, a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid, Sea-Doos([R]), free groceries and fuel for a year, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, vacation packages and a grand prize of $1 million.
ROAD TO RICHES sets a high standard in the Grade 2 Webster Cup Chase in Navan today.
ROAD TO RICHEs would have won last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup but for overnight rain, according to Gigginstown House stud racing manager eddie O'Leary.
Homeless Duane Riches was so desperate for a roof over his head during the festive period, he decided to target the Ladbrokes store, on Newcastle's Clayton Street.
M2 EQUITYBITES-August 12, 2011-Midway Gold names Adam Riches as corporate controller(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.
The highly anticipated Riviera Riches video slot will join Casino La Vida on 7 July 2011 and become the first Microgaming slot to include a roulette table game in its bonus feature.
From Riches to Happiness: A Semi-Autobiography by an Enlightened Orange County Woman" is Judy Joseph Hamlin as she tells her story of abandoning a picture perfect life in the pursuit of true, non-material happiness.
Anglesey has followed town centre management groups in Mold and Conwy in enquiring about the All The Little Shops scheme launched by entrepreneur Peter Riches.
From different business models to handling multiple opportunities, INTERNET RICHES is packed with exciting ideas for any contemplating moving wholly or partially online and makes for a fine addition to any general-interest or business lending library.
There is not much to unite Celtic and the young Scots except that both managers have been said to have an embarrassment of riches at their disposal.