[ahr-guh-nawt, -not]


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 formsAr·go·nau·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for argonaut

Historical Examples of argonaut

  • Inconspicuously I stepped into the Argonaut and up the stairs to Blythe's room.

    The Pirate of Panama

    William MacLeod Raine

  • A week's journey from the settlements showed the argonaut a new world.

  • On her desk lay her own neat copy of the story which she was preparing for the Argonaut.

  • We have not spoken of the Chancellor as an argonaut, of the Chancellor as a colonizer.

    The Arena


  • It had wheels underneath so that it could be towed on the bottom by the Argonaut.

British Dictionary definitions for argonaut



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 FormsArgonautic, adjective

Word Origin for Argonaut

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

Word Origin and History for argonaut



"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