Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.
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.
from rags to riches
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.
riches beyond the/any dream of avarice
Wealth that is greater than one could ever imagine, hope for, or spend the entirety of. If this scheme works, we'll have riches beyond the dream of avarice. We could spend the rest of our lives lounging on a beach in the Bahamas! The discovery of oil and natural gas reserves has brought riches beyond any dream of avarice to the region.
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.
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).
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.
an embarrassment of richesLITERARY
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.
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.
(from) rags to richesused 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.
an emˌbarrassment of ˈrichesso 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.
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.
embarrassment of riches, an
Too much of a good thing, an overabundance. The term is a direct translation from the French, where it first appeared as the title of a comedy by the Abbé Léonor d’Allainval, L’embarras des richesses (1726), translated into English by John Ozell and opening in London in 1738.
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