\ˈwelth also ˈweltth \

Definition of wealth 

1 obsolete : weal, welfare

2 : abundance of valuable material possessions or resources

3 : abundant supply : profusion

4a : 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

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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

The good news is that despite the resurgence of Marxist chic among young people in the U.S., people seeking the wealth that American youngsters can take for granted already know that Marxism doesn’t work. James Freeman, WSJ, "Capitalism: Still Working," 15 Nov. 2018 White American landowners saw Mexican children as little more than prospective sources of cheap labor for the farms that would provide the wealth to fund their own children’s futures. Mariana Viera, Teen Vogue, "How Méndez vs. Westminster Helped End Segregated Schools for Latinx Children in 1940s California," 12 Oct. 2018 Princess Eugenie Just like her older sister, Princess Eugenie will never need to worry about money thanks to the wealth and support of her family. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie Do for a Living," 11 Oct. 2018 The Queen Mother was simply looking ahead and doing a solid for her youngest great-grandson by compensating for the wealth that poor old Harry will lose out on in comparison to his king brother. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Why Prince Harry Inherited More Money Than Prince William When Their Great-Grandmother Died," 9 Aug. 2018 The New Horizons spacecraft flew past the two bodies almost three years ago, but scientists are still exploring the wealth of data the mission produced. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "Pluto and Charon Shine in Most Detailed Topographical Maps Ever," 12 July 2018 And the district has received little compared with the collective wealth of the region’s foundations and richest residents. Howard Blume, latimes.com, "Outside funders give L.A. Unified under new Supt. Beutner a $3 million vote of confidence," 9 July 2018 The size of Belgium and Croatia — in land mass and population - belies the wealth of sublime skill churned out by youth academies and national team programs. Steven Goff, chicagotribune.com, "'Hard-working, compact, united and well-organized': The World Cup's surprising final four," 8 July 2018 One way or another, societies will have to find a mechanism to distribute the wealth created by AI. The Economist, "What if people were paid for their data?," 7 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 1

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

20 Nov 2018

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 \

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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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).


by force of circumstances

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