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[buh-nan-zuh, boh-] /bəˈnæn zə, boʊ-/
a rich mass of ore, as found in mining.
a source of great and sudden wealth or luck; a spectacular windfall:
The play proved to be a bonanza for its lucky backers.
Origin of bonanza
1835-45, Americanism; < Spanish: literally, smooth sea (hence, good luck, rich vein of ore), nasalized variant of Medieval Latin bonacia, equivalent to Latin bon(us) good + (mal)acia calm sea < Greek malakía softness (malak(ós) soft + -ia -ia) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bonanza
  • The state's oil boom is no guaranteed bonanza for higher education.
  • The bonanza came at a cost to forests and wildlife, though.
  • But what made the whole thing such a bonanza for the humpbacks was the absence of sea ice.
  • Car companies that didn't cash in on the preceding bonanza are now focusing on putting money into their testing facilities.
  • Of course, rising market prices for oil could overcome the cost of regulation and set off a drilling bonanza.
  • The past three seasons have brought a bonanza of discoveries.
  • One industry's expense is another industry's sales bonanza.
  • There are simpler explanations for the executives' bonanza.
  • The project could be a bonanza for oyster harvesters.
  • Fossil fuels are an amazing bonanza of relatively portable and inexpensive energy.
British Dictionary definitions for bonanza


a source, usually sudden and unexpected, of luck or wealth
(US & Canadian) a mine or vein rich in ore
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish, literally: calm sea, hence, good luck, from Medieval Latin bonacia, from Latin bonus good + malacia dead calm, from Greek malakia softness
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
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Word Origin and History for bonanza

1844, American English, from Spanish bonanza "a rich lode," originally "fair weather at sea, prosperity," from Vulgar Latin *bonacia, from Latin bonus "good" (see bene-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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