pay dirt


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).

Nearby words

  1. pay attention,
  2. pay back,
  3. pay bed,
  4. pay cable,
  5. pay court to,
  6. pay dirt, hit,
  7. pay down,
  8. pay envelope,
  9. pay for,
  10. pay grade

Origin of pay dirt

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for paydirt

pay dirt


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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper