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1. a large amount of money and valuable material possessions
2. the state of being rich
3. Economics all goods and services with monetary, exchangeable, or productive value


the value of the resources possessed by an individual or a society (compare CAPITAL).

An important issue in any society is the distribution of wealth within it. Usually, in all but the simplest of societies, the ownership of wealth is unequal, and the degree to which this is so is an important differentiating feature of types of society. In the modern world advanced industrial societies generally manifest less inequality of income than less developed societies, but inequalities in the distribution of wealth remain great, although these are often difficult to quantify, given the tendency of wealth to go often unreported – e.g. at the time of death -because it is subject to taxation.

The massive inequality in wealth which exists between societies – especially between FIRST and THIRD WORLD societies – is, of course, also a major feature distinguishing between nation states in the modern WORLD SYSTEM, and a major aspect of the potential economic and political instability of this system.


See also Luxury, Treasure.
Weaving (See SEWING and WEAVING.)
Abu Dhabi
Persian Gulf sheikdom overflowing with petrodollars. [Mid-East Hist.: NCE, 9]
Big Daddy
wealthy Mississippi landowner of humble origins. [Am. Lit.: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof]
black and gold
symbol of financial prosperity. [Heraldry: Jobes, 222]
traditional symbol of wealth. [Plant Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 167]
Cave of Mammon
abode of god of riches. [Br. Lit.: Faerie Queene]
ancient Greek city; one of wealthiest and most powerful. [Gk. Hist. and Myth.: Zimmerman, 69]
Lydian king; name became synonymous with riches. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 69]
rich man who ignored poor man’s plight; sent to Hell. [N.T.: Luke 16:19–31]
world’s richest man in classical times. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 91]
Fortunatus’ purse
luckless man receives gift of inexhaustible purse. [Ital. Fairy Tale: LLEI, I: 286]
16th-century German financiers. [Ger. Hist.: NCE, 1023–1024]
Hughes, Howard
(1905–1976) eccentric millionaire; lived as recluse. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1284]
Phrygian king; whatever he touched became gold. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 24]
god of wealth: blind (indiscriminate); lame (slow to accumulate); and winged (quick to disappear). [Gk. Lit.: Plutus]
Rockefeller, John D(avison)
(1839–1937) oil magnate; name has become synonymous with “rich.” [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 431]
fabulous riches garnered from gifts and tolls. [O.T.: I Kings 10:14–25]
rich Athenian; ruined by his prodigal generosity to friends. [Br. Lit.: Timon of Athens]
seeing turquoise after a new moon brings wealth. [Gem Symbolism: Kunz, 345]
Warbucks, Daddy
adventurous soldier of fortune and richest man in world. [Comics: “Little Orphan Annie” in Horn, 459]
wheat stalk
traditional symbol of wealth. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 178]
References in periodicals archive ?
The search for material wealth, as found conceptualized in the metaphors of rap music, has also likely led many to believe that the hip-hop generation suffers from a spiritual bankruptcy, while crime and violence in urban African American neighborhoods continue to create an atmosphere of limitation as seen in the conceptualization of living spaces and economic opportunities in rap metaphors.
She noted that Zontians around the world are blessed, not because of material wealth or notoriety, but ``because we belong to a global organization whose cause is to make this world less difficult for one another.
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The second big screen outing of the Disney Channel's phenomenally popular teen queen promotes the family unit and the value of enduring friendship ahead of material wealth as perky pop princess Miley Cyrus (pictured right) searches for love in this sentimental rites of passage drama which is interspersed with thigh-slapping musical sequences, drizzled with sentiment and peppered with wholesome values Music: Glaswegians' debut album Twins' wake up call.
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Coverage includes a broad overview of SWB from the perspectives of philosophy, history, sociology, and evolution; how SWB is structured; cutting-edge assessment instruments and data-analytic approaches; aspects of life related to SWB, such as personality, social connectedness, social comparison, material wealth, religion, and emotion regulation; different life domains wherein SWB is manifest in important ways, such as the family, institutions like schools and the workplace, and in cultural contexts; and interventions that may work to make people happier.
From welfare policies that focus on basic feeding programmes for the needy to school fees that are waived for any family that can not afford them, which also includes bursaries for tertiary students for room and board, plus a plethora of programmes to ensure that all Batswana share in the bounty of material wealth from diamonds, cattle, coal and other assets, the government and people of Botswana share in their Vision 2016 dream and should not be included with the other nations on your list, which are years and even decades behind Botswana.
Despite incomes trebling, and our living standards, life expectancy and material wealth soaring beyond recognition, we are no happier.
Societies where material wealth is most valued therefore are the most unequal.
In line with this, the automotive color trends of tomorrow are reflecting the realization that there's more to life than material wealth.
This is a challenge for us living in society which glorifies the wasteful and thoughtless amassing of material wealth, where acts of modern warfare and nuclear testing have caused undisclosed damage to the planet's ecology.
Contract awarded for Pyeongtaek Quote Submission of metal mechanical machinery announcement practical training materials and features material wealth to buy a small number