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abundance of valuable material possessions or resources

all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value

all material objects that have economic utility

the stock of useful goods having economic value in existence at any one time

assets,capital,fortune,means,opulence,riches,substance,wherewithal,worth

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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word wealth. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.Send us feedback.

13th century, in the meaning defined atsense 1

In the business world,wealthis a measure of financial resources.

Wealth is usually a measure ofnet worth; that is, it is a measure of how much a person has insavingsinvestmentsreal estateandcash, less anydebts. For example, lets say John Doe has a $700,000 house, a car worth $20,000, a medical practice worth $400,000, and $5,000 in a checking account. Added together, these assets may be worth a whopping $1,125,000, but if John Doe is $300,000 indebtfrom medical school and owes $650,000 on the house, $15,000 oncreditcards and $15,000 on the car, his net worth (the assets minus these liabilities) falls to about $145,000. In other words, if he were to sell everything today and pay off all his debts, he would have only $145,000 that would truly be all his.

Incomeis routinely mistaken for wealth. For example, if John Does income is $250,000 peryear, some people might say John is wealthy. However, if Johnsmortgage, car payments, studentloansfrom medical school, medical bills for his child, and private school tuition for his other child consume most of his monthly income, he may not have much left forsavingat the end of the month. Consequently, John may have a nice house, but he has virtually nothing saved up for retirement, college, or emergencies. That is, he may have a high income, but he is not wealthy because he owns little of the things in his life.

See the full definition forwealthin the English Language Learners Dictionary

Rhyming Dictionary:Words that rhyme withwealth

Nglish:Translation ofwealthfor Spanish Speakers

Britannica English:Translation ofwealthfor Arabic Speakers

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