: a very rich man
Did You Know?
The original Croesus was a 6th-century B.C. king of Lydia, an ancient kingdom in what is now Turkey. Croesus conquered many surrounding regions, grew very wealthy, and became the subject of legends. In one legend, he was visited by Solon, the wise Athenian lawgiver. (Historians say this isn't chronologically possible, but it makes a good story.) Solon supposedly told Croesus, who thought he had everything: "Account no man happy before his death." These words made Croesus angry, and he threw the lawmaker out of his court. Croesus would rethink Solon's pronouncement later when his empire was overthrown by the Persians. Croesus' name shows up in the phrase "rich as Croesus," meaning "filthy rich," and it has also entered English as a generic term for someone extremely wealthy.
"Our young, handsome hero is an international man of mystery, fresh off the boat from London with no introduction but a note for a thousand pounds sterling, a fortune worthy of Croesus and enough to break a trading house." — Karen Heller, The Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2017
"I'd marry Lord Merton…. He's the silverest of silver foxes. He's richer than Croesus. He's charming." — Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 25 Jan. 2015
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