[gohld-brik for 1, 2; gohld-brik for 3–5]


Informal. a brick made to look like gold, sold by a swindler.
Informal. anything supposed to be valuable but which turns out to be worthless.
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.

to shirk responsibility or perform halfheartedly; loaf.

verb (used with object)

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. 2019

Related Words for goldbricker

deserter, dropout, goldbrick, wimp, slacker, shirker, goof-off, piker

Word Origin and History for goldbricker



"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