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placer1

[plas-er] /ˈplæs ər/
noun, Mining.
1.
a surficial mineral deposit formed by the concentration of small particles of heavy minerals, as gold, rutile, or platinum, in gravel or small sands.
2.
the site of a form of mining (placer mining) in which a placer deposit is washed to separate the gold or other valuable minerals.
Origin of placer1
1835-1845
1835-45, Americanism; < American Spanish; Spanish: sandbank < Catalan placel, derivative of plaza open place; see plaza

placer2

[pley-ser] /ˈpleɪ sər/
noun
1.
a person who sets things in their place or arranges them.
2.
a person or animal that is among the winners of a race or other contest.
Origin
1570-80; place + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for placer
Historical Examples
  • We should be stopped from manufacturing by the great productivity of labor in placer mining.

  • There was a sudden surge forward of the Jellies and placer was engulfed.

    Rebels of the Red Planet Charles Louis Fontenay
  • At times she dreamed of gold, placer gold, great moose-hide sacks bulging with nuggets.

    Riddle of the Storm Roy J. Snell
  • I sell you the secret, but I do not intend to alienate my rights to the placer.

    Wood Rangers Mayne Reid
  • The door at the end of the corridor opened as Nuwell neared it, and placer appeared in it.

    Rebels of the Red Planet Charles Louis Fontenay
  • We made a little on our placer—just enough to keep interested.

  • Why, by the exact converse of the usual Alaskan placer mining; by freezing down instead of thawing down.

  • Then, too, millions of dollars of placer gold have been washed from moraines.

    The Spell of the Rockies Enos A. Mills
  • He would not leave the placer, but insisted on awaiting our return there, alone.

    The Gold-Seekers Gustave Aimard
  • He starts from the placer fields to search for the mother lode.

    The Mystic Mid-Region Arthur J. Burdick
British Dictionary definitions for placer

placer

/ˈplæsə/
noun
1.
  1. surface sediment containing particles of gold or some other valuable mineral
  2. (in combination): placer-mining
Word Origin
C19: from American Spanish: deposit, from Spanish plazaplace
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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placer in Science
placer
  (plās'ər)   
A surface deposit of minerals, such as gold or magnetite, laid down by a river. The minerals are usually concentrated in one area because they are relatively heavy and therefore settle out of the river's currents more quickly than lighter sediments such as silt and sand. ◇ The extraction of minerals from placers, as by panning, washing, or dredging, is called placer mining.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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