\ ˈwelth also ˈweltth How to pronounce wealth (audio) \

Definition of wealth

1 : abundance of valuable material possessions or resources
2 : abundant supply : profusion
3a : all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value
b : all material objects that have economic utility especially : the stock of useful goods having economic value in existence at any one time national wealth
4 obsolete : weal, welfare

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Examples of wealth in a Sentence

a nation that has acquired great wealth someone whose sole goal is the accumulation of wealth Her personal wealth is estimated to be around $10 billion. What percentage of the national wealth is spent on health care? I was impressed by the wealth of choices. Libraries offer a wealth of information.
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Recent Examples on the Web

All six Gulf sovereign-wealth funds are growing more adventurous. The Economist, "Gulf states are becoming more adventurous investors," 14 June 2019 Despite its wealth, Switzerland ranks low among developed countries for wage equality. CBS News, "Women in Switzerland go on strike for fairer pay, more equality," 14 June 2019 Trump’s higher net worth shows how reliant his wealth has become on Steven Roth, a friend who leads Vornado Realty Trust. Shahien Nasiripour And Caleb Melby, sun-sentinel.com, "Trump’s net worth rises to $3 billion despite setbacks, including reduction in Mar-a-Lago business," 12 June 2019 SoFi just raised $500 million last month in a round led by the Qatari sovereign wealth fund. Theodore Schleifer, Vox, "Why SoFi would be interested in buying naming rights to the LA football stadium," 11 June 2019 In Spain Crassus started to build his fabulous wealth. Andrea Frediani, National Geographic, "Money was not enough for Crassus, the richest man in Rome," 11 June 2019 What it’s done is attracted a lot more other late-stage capital — whether that’s from sovereign wealth funds or mutual funds or even private equity funds. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Scott Kupor Demystifies the Venture Capital Funding Process In New Book," 4 June 2019 The Qatari sovereign wealth fund bought the hotel in 2013, and it is controlled by Constellation Hotels, which is owned by Qatar Holding. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "US taxpayers are spending millions so Trump’s adult children can meet the Queen," 3 June 2019 Not all of us are fortunate to have that rich uncle or have parents that have generational wealth. Lindsay Peoples, The Cut, "Meet the Entrepreneur Making Lipstick for Working Women," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wealth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wealth

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for wealth

Middle English welthe, from wele weal

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Dictionary Entries near wealth


Weald, The






Statistics for wealth

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wealth

The first known use of wealth was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for wealth



Financial Definition of wealth

What It Is

In the business world, wealth is a measure of financial resources.

How It Works

Wealth is usually a measure of net worth; that is, it is a measure of how much a person has in savings, investments, real estate and cash, less any debts. For example, let's say John Doe has a $700,000 house, a car worth $20,000, a medical practice worth $400,000, and $5,000 in a checking account. Added together, these assets may be worth a whopping $1,125,000, but if John Doe is $300,000 in debt from medical school and owes $650,000 on the house, $15,000 on credit cards and $15,000 on the car, his net worth (the assets minus these liabilities) falls to about $145,000. In other words, if he were to sell everything today and pay off all his debts, he would have only $145,000 that would truly be all his.

Why It Matters

Income is routinely mistaken for wealth. For example, if John Doe's income is $250,000 per year, some people might say John is "wealthy." However, if John's mortgage, car payments, student loans from medical school, medical bills for his child, and private school tuition for his other child consume most of his monthly income, he may not have much left for saving at the end of the month. Consequently, John may have a nice house, but he has virtually nothing saved up for retirement, college, or emergencies. That is, he may have a high income, but he is not "wealthy" because he owns little of the things in his life.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of wealth

: a large amount of money and possessions
: the value of all the property, possessions, and money that someone or something has
: a large amount or number


\ ˈwelth How to pronounce wealth (audio) \

Kids Definition of wealth

1 : a large amount of money or possessions
2 : a great amount or number a wealth of ideas

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More from Merriam-Webster on wealth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wealth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wealth

Spanish Central: Translation of wealth

Nglish: Translation of wealth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wealth for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wealth

Comments on wealth

What made you want to look up wealth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a desire to acquire more things

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