• synonyms

pay dirt

  1. soil, gravel, or ore that can be mined profitably.
  2. Informal. any source of success or wealth; a fortunate discovery or profitable venture: After months of experimentation, the scientists finally hit pay dirt.
  3. Football. end zone(def 1).
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Origin of pay dirt

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for paydirt

pay dirt

  1. a deposit rich enough in minerals to be worth mining
  2. strike pay dirt or hit pay dirt informal to achieve one's objective
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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 paydirt


also pay dirt, "profit, success," 1873, from pay (n.) + dirt (n.); a word from mining, where it was used in a literal sense from 1856.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper