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pay dirt

soil, gravel, or ore that can be mined profitably.
Informal. any source of success or wealth; a fortunate discovery or profitable venture:
After months of experimentation, the scientists finally hit pay dirt.
Football. end zone (def 1).
Origin of pay dirt
An Americanism dating back to 1855-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pay dirt
Historical Examples
  • You're not handlin' pay dirt, though it's about as expensive!

  • Embankments of pay dirt were erected and strengthened by green logs.

    The Triumph of John Kars

    Ridgwell Cullum
  • Its foundations rest upon gold bearing earth, and even now in digging cellars, quite in the town, pay dirt is found.

    A Summer's Outing Carter H. Harrison
  • His pay dirt while being washed averaged $250 an hour to each man shoveling in.

    Golden Alaska Ernest Ingersoll
  • pay dirt's badly broken up, but we'll fix things different when we strike it fair.

    For the Allinson Honor Harold Bindloss
  • After “puddling out” a few potfuls of the pay dirt, we decided to move the cradles.

    Gold Stewart White
  • In the first place, shafts have to be dug forty or fifty feet deep to the lodes, where the pay dirt is found.

  • In placer mining the pay dirt is washed by the simplest methods, such as were practised in California during the pioneer days.

    Klondike Nuggets E. S. Ellis
  • Since the season was well advanced, the men and boys prepared themselves to wash the pay dirt whenever found.

    Klondike Nuggets E. S. Ellis
  • Bill laughed as the old man vanished beyond the piles of pay dirt, which had been converted into defences.

    The Triumph of John Kars

    Ridgwell Cullum
British Dictionary definitions for pay dirt

pay dirt

a deposit rich enough in minerals to be worth mining
(informal) strike pay dirt, hit pay dirt, 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
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Slang definitions & phrases for pay dirt

pay dirt

noun phrase

Profit and success: I'll try a fast-food franchise, where there's sure to be paydirt

Related Terms

hit pay dirt

[1873+; in the sense ''richly yielding ore,'' found by 1856]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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