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[ahr-guh-nawt, -not] /ˈɑr gəˌnɔt, -ˌnɒt/
Classical Mythology. a member of the band of men who sailed to Colchis with Jason in the ship Argo in search of the Golden Fleece.
(sometimes lowercase) a person in quest of something dangerous but rewarding; adventurer.
a person who moved to California during the gold rush of 1849.
(lowercase) paper nautilus.
Origin of Argonaut
< Latin Argonauta < Greek Argonaútēs crewman of the ship Argo; see nautical
Related forms
Argonautic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for argonauts


(Greek myth) one of the heroes who sailed with Jason in quest of the Golden Fleece
a person who took part in the Californian gold rush of 1849
another name for the paper nautilus
Derived Forms
Argonautic, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Greek Argonautēs, from Argō the name of Jason's ship + nautēs sailor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for argonauts



"sailor of the Argo," 1580s (implied in argonautic), from Argo + Greek nautes "sailor" (see naval). Adventurers in the California Gold Rush of 1848 were called argonauts (because they sought the golden fleece) by those who stayed home.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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argonauts in Culture
Argonauts [(ahr-guh-nawts)]

In classical mythology, the companions of Jason in the quest for the Golden Fleece. Their ship was the Argo.

Note: Naut means “sailor” in Greek and is the root of our word nautical. Today, the word is used to coin terms such as astronaut and aquanaut.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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