[gohld-brik for 1, 2; gohld-brik for 3–5]
See more synonyms for goldbrick on
  1. Informal. a brick made to look like gold, sold by a swindler.
  2. Informal. anything supposed to be valuable but which turns out to be worthless.
  3. Also gold·brick·er. Slang. a person, especially a soldier, who shirks responsibility or performs duties without proper effort or care.
verb (used without object) Slang.
  1. to shirk responsibility or perform halfheartedly; loaf.
verb (used with object)
  1. to swindle; cheat.

Origin of goldbrick

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55; gold + brick Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for gold brick

gold brick

  1. something with only a superficial appearance of value
  2. US slang an idler or shirker
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 gold brick



"shirker," 1914, World War I armed forces slang, from earlier verb meaning "to swindle, cheat" (1902) from the old con game of selling spurious "gold" bricks (attested by 1882).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper