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pay dirt

noun
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).
Origin of pay dirt
1855-1860
1855-60, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pay dirt
Historical Examples
  • Some of the holes are dry, and there the men have to pack their pay dirt down to the shore and use surf water for washing.

    Our Little Alaskan Cousin Mary F. Nixon-Roulet
  • Embankments of pay dirt were erected and strengthened by green logs.

    The Triumph of John Kars Ridgwell Cullum
  • Here, as in the cave, they found cubes of pay dirt piled high on every side.

    Panther Eye Roy J. Snell
  • Its foundations rest upon gold bearing earth, and even now in digging cellars, quite in the town, pay dirt is found.

    A Summer's Outing Carter H. Harrison
  • His pay dirt while being washed averaged $250 an hour to each man shoveling in.

    Golden Alaska Ernest Ingersoll
  • In the first place, shafts have to be dug forty or fifty feet deep to the lodes, where the pay dirt is found.

  • In placer mining the pay dirt is washed by the simplest methods, such as were practised in California during the pioneer days.

    Klondike Nuggets E. S. Ellis
  • Bill laughed as the old man vanished beyond the piles of pay dirt, which had been converted into defences.

    The Triumph of John Kars Ridgwell Cullum
  • Since the season was well advanced, the men and boys prepared themselves to wash the pay dirt whenever found.

    Klondike Nuggets E. S. Ellis
  • Only the sluices stood up still and deserted, and the dumps of pay dirt.

    The Triumph of John Kars Ridgwell Cullum
British Dictionary definitions for pay dirt

pay dirt

noun
1.
a deposit rich enough in minerals to be worth mining
2.
(informal) strike pay dirt, hit pay dirt, 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
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Slang definitions & phrases for pay dirt

pay dirt

noun phrase

Profit and success: I'll try a fast-food franchise, where there's sure to be paydirt

Related Terms

hit pay dirt

[1873+; in the sense ''richly yielding ore,'' found by 1856]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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8
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