rags to riches

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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.

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
References in periodicals archive ?
BELMONT STAKES BETTING, Coral: 10-11 Curlin, 100-30 Rags To Riches, 6-1 Hard Spun, 11-1 Tiago, 12-1 Imawildandcrazyguy, 16-1 CP West, Slew's Tizzy.
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.
Rags to Riches, ridden by Garrett Gomez in the Kentucky Oaks, could be entered into the Belmont Stakes, trainer Todd Pletcher said.
Rags to Riches, who went from a maiden to a 51/2-length Santa Anita Oaks winner in California this winter, rallied from the outside and kicked away in the Kentucky Oaks and stopped the clock in 1:49.
Rags To Riches won five of her seven starts in 2007, four of her victories coming in Grade 1s.
So the stats are not kind to Rags To Riches, who is part owned by Michael Tabor.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said he believes the injury was sustained during the stretch run of the Gazelle, in which Rags To Riches battled with eventual winner Lear's Princess.
Rags To Riches, who is trained by US champion Todd Pletcher, hasn't won her last five starts.
Rags To Riches ONE of Bennett's most enduring classics, Rags To Riches features a combination of uptempo big band backing and Bennett's soaring vocals.
USA Rags To Riches worked at Saratoga yesterday morning, but there is still no decision on whether she will make a return to competitive action at the track in two weeks' time, writes Dan Farley.
Ormerod took a job making bed linen to boost his Accrington Stanley wages before moving to Blackpool for pounds 50,000 - and completed his rags to riches story with the clinching goal in Cardiff.
You can't say enough about New Line and how it's gone from rags to riches.