rags to riches

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rags to riches

Characterized by a rise from poverty to great or exceptional wealth. Hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. 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. After her book became an international phenomenon, the former waitress went from rags to riches almost overnight. The film is a rags-to-riches story of a beggar who goes on to find fame and fortune with his amazing singing voice.
See also: rag, riches, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

(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, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

rags to riches, from

From poverty to wealth through one’s own efforts; the self-made man or woman. This phrase was the theme of the 130 or so extremely popular novels of Horatio Alger (1834–99), whose heroes always rose from their lowly position by virtue of hard work, thrift, and pluck to win great wealth and happiness. R. de Toledano used it in Frontiers of Jazz, writing of the clarinetist Benny Goodman, “Goodman was the first real rags-to-riches success in the swing-jazz field.”
See also: rag, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Rags To Riches will also be out to maintain her family honour as she is a half-sister to last year's Belmont winner, Jazil.
He added that Rags To Riches beat Curlin in last year's Belmont Stakes.
According to trainer Todd Pletcher, Rags To Riches suffered a recurrence of the injury initially sustained when she was beaten into second in the Gazelle Stakes at Belmont Park in September.
Rags to riches success story Di Overton is set to bank her first million after she was kicked out of school at 15.
LADY REBECCA (above) has run the last race of her rags to riches career, it emerged today.
Viv, aged 63, was in tears when she joined the cast on stage at the Piccadilly Theatre at the end of the show about her rags to riches and back again life.
It's been a real rags to riches story for O'Callaghan who left his native Clare for the US at just 16 and at one point was homeless before making his name over there.
A FORMER Birmingham schoolboy is helping to buy his old school a new pounds 10 million performing arts centre to thank it for helping his "rags to riches" success.
BETTER THAN HONOUR, who entered racing history last year as the dam of consecutive Belmont Stakes winners in Jazil and Rags To Riches, will visit A.P.
Her rags to riches story of hard work, sacrifice, dedication and eventual success, all made possible by love, surely cheered us all on a rain-lashed summer's day.
Singer Julienne Taylor, 34, from Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, went from rags to riches yesterday after signing a deal with Universal.
The Rags to Riches show, held on Thursday, September 14 at Warwickshire County Cricket Club, featured volunteers modelling items of clothing donated by celebrities.
ALL roads lead to the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita in October for Rags To Riches, crowned the world's champion filly or mare in this week's World Rankings.
Home services including shopping, gardening, ironing, cooking and cleaning will be auctioned off and a "Rags to Riches"
SCOTS pop star Darius reckons his life story is just like controversial rapper Eminem's rags to riches rise.