nugget

[nuhg-it]
noun
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.
a.
a powerful, heavy animal.
b.
a strong, thickset man.

Origin:
1850–55; perhaps diminutive of obsolete nug small piece, variant of nog2; see -et

nuggety, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nugget (ˈnʌɡɪt)
 
n
1.  a small piece or lump, esp of gold in its natural state
2.  something small but valuable or excellent
 
[C19: origin unknown]

Nugget (ˈnʌɡɪt)
 
n
1.  trademark shoe polish
 
vb
2.  informal (tr; sometimes not capital) to shine (shoes)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

nugget
1852, "lump of gold," probably from southwestern England dialectal nug "lump," of unknown origin. Another theory is that it is a misdivision of an ingot. Transf. sense is from 1859.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
When asked how the biscuits taste, he holds one of the grainy, chicken-nugget-sized lumps in his hand.
Once ashore, some lucky beachcomber finds the sea nugget-lucky, because ambergris costs a small fortune.
If someone had handed him a gold nugget he'd have glanced and tossed.
One amber nugget contained a perfectly preserved adult specimen.
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