One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Very rich; extremely rich.
A very rich person. Chiefly with the and plural concord: very rich people collectively.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Robert Copland (fl. 1505–1547), translator and printer. From rich + rich, either expressing a degree of richness (i.e. with the first occurrence of the adjective modifying the second) or for emphatic effect.
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