Difference Between Rich and Wealthy

Main Difference – Rich vs. Wealthy

Both words ‘rich’ and ‘wealthy’ refer to having a lot of money, and we often use these two words as synonyms. While these words can be used as synonyms in common usage, there is a subtle difference between Rich and wealthy and we are going to further elaborate this difference on this article. The main difference between these two adjectives is, rich means having lot of money, resources, and assets while wealthy means having money, resources, assets as well as knowledge.

What Does Rich Mean

Rich can be described as having a lot of money or resources. If we see a person who wears branded clothes and jewelry, uses latest and expensive cars and lives in a mansion, we obviously refer to that person as rich. Rich people can come into their money in a number of ways. They may win a lottery, inherit parents ‘money, or they may earn it in few short years in professional sports or entertainment industry. Irrespective of the method of earning, the money belonging to a rich man will not last long. In simple terms, being rich is only a temporary state.

Rich also means existing in abundance or good craftsmanship. For example, ‘vegetables rich in vitamins’, ‘rich sauce’, ‘rich fauna and flora’, ‘rich fertile soil’ ,’ ‘rich Mahogany furniture’.etc.difference between rich and wealthy

What Does Wealthy Mean

Being wealthy also refers to having lot of money, resources or assets. However, the difference between rich and wealthy is knowledge and wisdom. Wealthy people are not just rich in money but rich in mind as well.

Wealthy people know how to make money. Once you know how to make money, you can build sustainable wealth. The money never stops coming. Even if you experience a reversal of fortune, it wouldn’t matter much because you know how to regain your wealth. Another differentiation between rich and wealthy is that rich people are motivated by money while wealthy people are motivated to build a legacy and improve the world. It is not easy to identify a wealthy man by just looking at him, unlike a rich man.main difference between rich vs wealthy

However, keep in mind that in general usage, we can use these two words interchangeably. In fact, many dictionaries define rich and wealthy as the same. Oxford dictionary defines both rich and wealthy as “having a great deal of money, resources, or assets”. So, this difference between rich and wealthy is connotative and this meanings should be only be applied according to the given context.

Difference Between Rich and Wealthy


Rich: Rich is having  money, resources or assets.

Wealthy: Wealthy is having money, resources, assets as well as knowledge.


Rich: Rich people flaunt their wealth and are easily noticeable by appearance.

Wealthy: Wealthy people do not flaunt their wealth and, therefore, hard to notice by appearance.


Rich: Being rich is a temporary state.

Wealthy: Being wealthy lasts longer.


Rich: The motivation for being rich is earning money.

Wealthy: wealthy people are motivated by their dreams, purpose and fashion.

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