"valued possessions, money, property, abundance of means, state of having large or valuable possessions," modified from richesse (c. 1200), a singular form misunderstood as a plural, from Old French richesse, richece "wealth, opulence, splendor, magnificence," from riche (see rich (adj.)). The Old French suffix -esse is from Latin -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality (compare fortress). The spelling shift was evident by 15c.
"negligence in performance of legal duty," 1570s, earlier simply "slackness, negligence, want of zeal" (late 14c.), from Anglo-French laches, Old French lachesse "lawlessness, remissness," from Old French lasche "lax, remiss" (Modern French lâche), verbal adjective from lascher, from Vulgar Latin *lascare, classical laxare "to slacken, relax," from laxus "loose; yielding; indulgent" (from PIE root *sleg- "be slack, be languid"). Compare riches.
early 14c., from Old French forteresse, forterece "strong place, fortification" (12c.), variant of fortelesse, from Medieval Latin fortalitia, from Latin fortis "strong" (see fort) + -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality or condition. French -ess from Latin -itia also is in duress, largesse, riches, also obsolete rudesse, "lack of cultivation" (early 15c.).
For change of medial -l- to -r- in Old French, compare orme "elm" from Latin ulmus; chartre from cartula; chapitre from capitulum.
"wealth, riches, affluence," c. 1500, from French opulence (16c.), from Latin opulentia "riches, wealth," from opulentus "wealthy," a dissimilation of *op-en-ent-, which is related to ops "wealth, power, ability, resources," and to opus "work, labor, exertion" (from PIE root *op- "to work, produce in abundance").
Opulence is a dignified and strong word for wealth. Wealth and riches may mean the property possessed, and riches generally does mean it; the others do not. Affluence suggests the flow of wealth to one, and resulting free expenditure for objects of desire. There is little difference in the strength of the words. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
Hindu goddess of beauty, said to be from Sanskrit lakshmi "mark, fortune, riches, beauty."
personification of riches and worldliness, mid-14c., from Late Latin mammona, from Ecclesiastical Greek mamōnas, from Aramaic mamona, mamon "riches, gain;" a word left untranslated in Greek New Testament (Matthew vi.24, Luke xvi.9-13), retained in the Vulgate, and regarded mistakenly by medieval Christians as the name of a demon who leads men to covetousness.
from Latinized form of Greek Kroisos, 6c. B.C.E. king of Lydia in Asia Minor, famously wealthy; hence, from late 14c., "rich man" or in other allusions to riches.
"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).