Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

pay dirt

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. soil, gravel, or ore that can be mined profitably.
  2. Informal. any source of success or wealth; a fortunate discovery or profitable venture: After months of experimentation, the scientists finally hit pay dirt.
  3. Football. end zone(def 1).

Origin of pay dirt

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pay dirt

Historical Examples

  • Hill diggings are those where the pay-dirt is in or under a hill.

    Hittel on Gold Mines and Mining

    John S. Hittell

  • Hitherto these men had been accustomed to the slow process of washing “pay-dirt.”

    The Golden Woman

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • These keen-eyed men with eager talk of claims and pay-dirt could not help me.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • In the meantime Angela washed the pay-dirt and placed the residue in a handkerchief.

    Colorado Jim

    George Goodchild

  • There was twelve feet of top-stripping to be removed before we could hope to reach the pay-dirt.


British Dictionary definitions for pay dirt

pay dirt

noun
  1. a deposit rich enough in minerals to be worth mining
  2. strike pay dirt or hit pay dirt informal to achieve one's objective
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