[ gohl-dee-loks ]
/ ˈgoʊl diˌlɒks /

noun, plural gold·i·locks.

(used with a singular verb) a person with golden hair.


(usually initial capital letter) not being extreme or not varying drastically between extremes, especially between hot and cold: a Goldilocks economy that is neither overheated nor too cold to cause a recession; a goldilocks planet such as Earth.See also Goldilocks zone.

Nearby words

  1. goldfish,
  2. goldfish bowl,
  3. goldflam disease,
  4. goldi,
  5. goldie's fern,
  6. goldilocks zone,
  7. golding,
  8. goldman,
  9. goldman, edwin franko,
  10. goldman, emma

Origin of goldilocks

1540–50; obsolete goldy golden + lock2 + -s3; from the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, in which the golden-haired Goldilocks rejects uncomfortable extremes, as porridge that is too hot or too cold Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for goldilocks

British Dictionary definitions for goldilocks


/ (ˈɡəʊldɪˌlɒks) /

noun (functioning as singular)

a Eurasian plant, Aster linosyris (or Linosyris vulgaris), with clusters of small yellow flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)
a Eurasian ranunculaceous woodland plant, Ranunculus auricomus, with yellow flowersSee also buttercup
(sometimes capital) a person, esp a girl, with light blond hair
(modifier; sometimes capital) not prone to extremes of temperature, volatility, etca goldilocks planet; a goldilocks economy

Word Origin for goldilocks

(for sense 4): C20: from the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, in which the heroine prefers the porridge that is neither too hot nor too cold

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 goldilocks


name for a person with bright yellow hair, 1540s, from adj. form of gold + lock in the hair sense. The story of the Three Bears first was printed in Robert Southey's miscellany "The Doctor" (1837), but the central figure there was a bad-tempered old woman. Southey did not claim to have invented the story, and older versions have been traced, either involving an old woman or a "silver-haired" girl (though in at least one version it is a fox who enters the house). The identification of the girl as Goldilocks is attested only from c.1875.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper