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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 ?
LIM also suffers from the possibility of overstating incomes in affluent areas and understating them in poverty stricken parts of Canada.
For purposes of the study, Spectrem defined affluent households as those with at least $100,000 of income and/or $500,000 of net worth, not including their primary residence.
Mass affluent consumers are keen on engaging with financial providers over social media.
According to the bank, the affluent segment comprises of individuals with minimum assets under management of MYR200,000, or those customers with a home property valued at more than MYR1m.
Whether the 10-year wealth aspiration is to buy property or launch a business, on average as many as 87 per cent of the emerging affluent believe they will achieve it.
Standard Chartered is focused on the fastest-growing cities in the world where there are high concentrations of affluent individuals seeking international banking solutions and comprehensive wealth solutions and advice.
A new report from LinkedIn, the 2015 United States Affluent Millennial Research Study released on Thursday, examines what affluent millennials are looking for in financial services institutions.
The research attributes the decline to periodic increase in estate tax exemptions (to $5 million in 2013 from $625,000 in 1989), indicating that paying estate taxes motivated purchases of life insurance for many among the affluent.
As affluent women gain wealth, two-thirds say having more money has made them "thriftier" and 58% describe themselves as "savers.
Convincing affluent consumers to shop a specific store banner is one thing.
According to the paper, the study, based on interviews with 3,000 affluent individuals, says that the affluent in the country will propel 40 percent of China's consumption growth and will comprise 35 percent of all consumer spending in 2020, up from 24 percent last year.
By 2015, the affluent population in Asia ex-Japan is expected to grow from 20 to 31 million, with combined liquid assets reaching a staggering USD12 trillion, according to Datamonitor.