"gain in money or goods, profit," late 14c., from Old French lucre, from Latin lucrum "material gain, advantage, profit; wealth, riches," of uncertain origin. De Vaan says from Proto-Italic *lukro-, from PIE *lhu-tlo- "seizure, gain," with cognates in Greek apolauo "take hold of, enjoy," leia (Doric laia) "booty;" Gothic laun "reward."
Often specifically in a restricted sense of "base or unworthy gain, money or wealth as the object of greed," hence "greed." Filthy lucre (Titus i.11) is Tyndale's rendering of Greek aiskhron kerdos.
"person who rules or sways a community or society by virtue of his wealth; person possessing power or influence solely or mainly on account of his riches," 1838, a back-formation from plutocracy. Related: Plutocratic (1843); plutocratical (1833).
before vowels chrys-, word-forming element meaning "gold, gold-colored," also sometimes "wealth," from Latinized form of Greek khrysos "gold," which is usually said to be a Punic (Semitic) loan-word (compare Hebrew and Phoenician harutz "gold").
"flourishing or thriving condition, good fortune, wealth, success in anything good or desirable," c. 1200, prosperite, from Old French prosprete (12c., Modern French prospérité) and directly from Latin prosperitatem (nominative prosperitas) "good fortune," from prosperus (see prosper).
early 13c., chatel "property, goods," from Old French chatel "chattels, goods, wealth, possessions, property; profit; cattle," from Late Latin capitale "property" (see cattle, which is the Old North French form of the same word). Application to slaves is from 1640s and later became a rhetorical figure in the writings of abolitionists.
mid-13c., "box or chest used for keeping valuables," from Old French cofre "a chest" (12c., Modern French coffre), from Latin cophinus "basket" (see coffin). Hence coffers, in a figurative sense, "a treasury; the wealth and pecuniary resources of a person, institution, etc.," late 14c.