rags to riches

Meaning: If you go from rags to riches, you start out very poor and you become very rich.

For example:

  • My grandfather went from rags to riches when his dishwashing liquid became very popular. He started out making it at home, but in less than a year he had his own factory.

  • Most of these young guys in professional basketball came from poor neighbourhoods and they all have the same rags-to-riches story.

Note: If used as a modifier before a noun or a noun phrase, hyphens must be added, as in "a rags-to-riches story".

Quick Quiz:

This girl I knew in high school has had an unusual life. She went from rags to riches after she

a. got a job in a bank

b. lost millions of dollars gambling

c. became a top international model

Idiom of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey