soil, gravel, or ore that can be mined profitably.
Informal. any source of success or wealth; a fortunate discovery or profitable venture: After months of experimentation, the scientists finally hit pay dirt.
Football. end zone(def 1).
- pay attention,
- pay back,
- pay bed,
- pay cable,
- pay court to,
- pay dirt, hit,
- pay down,
- pay envelope,
- pay for,
- pay grade
Origin of pay dirt
An Americanism dating back to 1855–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
a deposit rich enough in minerals to be worth mining
strike pay dirt or hit pay dirt informal to achieve one's objective
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper