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See more synonyms for nugget on Thesaurus.com
  1. a lump of something, as of precious metal.
  2. a lump of native gold.
  3. anything of great value, significance, or the like: nuggets of wisdom.
  4. a bite-size piece of chicken, fish, etc., usually batter-fried.
  5. Welding. (in a spot-weld) the metal fused.
  6. Australian.
    1. a powerful, heavy animal.
    2. a strong, thickset man.
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Origin of nugget

1850–55; perhaps diminutive of obsolete nug small piece, variant of nog2; see -et
Related formsnug·get·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nugget

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Keith's smile broadened as he was handed this nugget of wisdom.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • I bought a copy of the "Nugget" and went into the Sourdough Restaurant to read it.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • The sheriff burst in the door with Nugget McDermott close behind.

    Jubilation, U.S.A.

    G. L. Vandenburg

  • That nugget of information was the stuff from which Survey reports were made.

    Storm Over Warlock

    Andre Norton

  • In a moment all were crowded around him, eagerly examining the nugget.

    The Cave of Gold

    Everett McNeil

British Dictionary definitions for nugget


  1. a small piece or lump, esp of gold in its natural state
  2. something small but valuable or excellent
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Word Origin

C19: origin unknown


  1. trademark shoe polish
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  1. (tr; sometimes not capital) informal to shine (shoes)
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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 nugget


1852, "lump of gold," probably from southwestern England dialectal nug "lump," of unknown origin [OED]. Another theory is that it is from a misdivision of an ingot. Transferred sense is from 1859.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper