a lump of something, as of precious metal.
a lump of native gold.
anything of great value, significance, or the like: nuggets of wisdom.
a bite-size piece of chicken, fish, etc., usually batter-fried.
Welding. (in a spot-weld) the metal fused.
  1. a powerful, heavy animal.
  2. a strong, thickset man.

Origin of nugget

1850–55; perhaps diminutive of obsolete nug small piece, variant of nog2; see -et
Related formsnug·get·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for nuggets

clod, wad, ingot, gold, chunk, treasure, hunk, rock, mass, clump, plum, bullion

Examples from the Web for nuggets

Contemporary Examples of nuggets

Historical Examples of nuggets

  • Of the gold they took mostly dust, because it packed closer than nuggets.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • I could have won every peso if I had put up only a little handful of the nuggets.

    The Treasure Trail

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • They carry good-sized pokes of nuggets and dust which they use in trading.

    The Trail of a Sourdough

    May Kellogg Sullivan

  • "But you cannot be always sure of your nuggets," muttered Tony.

    Tony Butler

    Charles James Lever

  • Blake put the nuggets into his pocket and threw the rest out into the pool.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet

British Dictionary definitions for nuggets



a small piece or lump, esp of gold in its natural state
something small but valuable or excellent

Word Origin for nugget

C19: origin unknown



trademark shoe polish


(tr; sometimes not capital) informal to shine (shoes)
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 nuggets



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper