- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pay dirt
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
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
There was twelve feet of top-stripping to be removed before we could hope to reach the pay-dirt.Mirk Abbey, Volume 1(of 3)
- a deposit rich enough in minerals to be worth mining
- 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