ormolu

ormolu

[awr-muh-loo]
noun
1.
Also called mosaic gold. an alloy of copper and zinc used to imitate gold.
2.
Also called bronze doré, gilt bronze. gilded metal, especially cast brass or bronze gilded over fire with an amalgam of gold and mercury, used for furniture mounts and ornamental objects.
3.
gold or gold powder prepared for use in gilding.

Origin:
1755–65; < French or moulu ground gold, equivalent to or (< Latin aurum) + moulu, past participle of moudre to grind < Latin molere

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World English Dictionary
ormolu (ˈɔːməˌluː)
 
n
1.  a.  a gold-coloured alloy of copper, tin, or zinc used to decorate furniture, mouldings, etc
 b.  (as modifier): an ormolu clock
2.  gold prepared to be used for gilding
 
[C18: from French or moulu ground gold]

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

ormolu
"alloy of copper, zinc, and tin, resembling gold," 1765, from Fr. or moulu, lit. "ground gold," from or "gold" (from L. aurum, from PIE *aus- "gold.") + moulu "ground up," pp. of moudre "to grind," from L. molere "to grind."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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