Middle English Dictionary Entry

rī̆che adj.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) Of persons: rich, wealthy, prosperous; also, having sufficient wealth; for richere for poverer, whether richer or poorer; on ~ reue, in a wealthy condition, among wealthy people; (b) ~ of aughte (fe, gold and fe, gold and gersume, gold and silver, rente, tresour, etc.); (c) well endowed with excellence, virtue, honor, etc.; also, lavish in mercy or good will; (d) powerful, mighty, great; alder-richest; the ~ fishere, the great fisher; (e) noble, high-born, of high rank; (f) richly dressed.
(a) Of materials, jewels, etc.: inherently precious, expensive, excellent; of a horse, a tree: costly, valuable; (b) of garments, armor, regalia, furnishings, etc.: expensive, well made; also, ornate; (c) of a building, hall, room, tomb, etc.: built of the best materials, splendid, magnificent; (d) of a banquet, bath, etc.: sumptuous, delicious, luxurious; ~ lif, lif ~, expensive life style; (e) of ~ mounde, of great richness; of ~ pris, of great value; on ~ wise, richly, expensively.
(a) Of a city, monastery, etc.: wealthy, prosperous, mighty; splendid, famous; also fig.; alder-richest; (b) of a country, land, region, etc.: having abundant resources; productive, fertile; ~ of baume (bestes, gold, palmes), rich in or famous for balm (animals, etc.); (c) of a reward, gift, etc.: generous, lavish, great; of income, wealth: ample, abundant.
(a) Good of its kind, admirable, splendid; also, strong; of a flower: beautiful; of a river: having an abundance of good water; of counsel, a medicine: useful, effective; (b) of a color: bright, vivid, intense; of a sound: loud, resounding; (c) spiritually effective, powerful; also, spiritually precious; in ~ arrai, in glory; (d) of speech, reputation, etc.: noble, honorable.
In proverbs and prov. expressions.
In phrase ~ man [it is impossible to determine whether or not some of these (esp. early) examples are cpds.; cp. sense 8.]: (a) a wealthy man; (b) a powerful man, great man; also, a man of high birth, nobleman; (c) in proverbs and prov. expressions.
As noun: (a) Coll. rich people, the rich; ~ and hen, ~ and povre, povre and ~, rich and poor, everyone; to povre as to ~, to all without exception [see also povre adj. 3.(b)]; (b) coll. the ~, rich people, the rich; the ~ and the povre, the povre and the ~, as wel the povre as the ~, etc., the rich and the poor, everyone; to the povre as to the ~, to all without exception [see also povre adj.3.(c)]; (c) a rich man; comp. richere, the richer man; either ye ~ ye the hen, both to the rich man and to the poor man; (d) coll. powerful men, nobles; the ~, the great; sup. the richest, the greatest men, the noblest; the ~ and the loue, the high and the low, everyone; to the simple so as to the ~, to all without exception; (e) a powerful man; a nobleman; sup. richest, the most powerful man; (f) a noble steed.