Denotation vs. Connotation


[plas-er] /ˈplæs ər/
noun, Mining.
a surficial mineral deposit formed by the concentration of small particles of heavy minerals, as gold, rutile, or platinum, in gravel or small sands.
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
1835-45, Americanism; < American Spanish; Spanish: sandbank < Catalan placel, derivative of plaza open place; see plaza Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for placer mining
Historical Examples
  • We should be stopped from manufacturing by the great productivity of labor in placer mining.

  • This was placer mining with a vengeance, the cream of all mining while it lasts.

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

  • "Well, you might try a little surface or placer mining," replied Gabe.

    Two Boy Gold Miners Frank V. Webster
  • As the cradle gave way to placer mining, larger and larger schemes of coperation came into use.

    The American Mind Bliss Perry
  • "placer mining is a tolerably uncertain thing, but here's a result I never anticipated two or three days ago," he said.

    Delilah of the Snows Harold Bindloss
  • But placer mining then, in spite of such skill as that of the Californians, was wasteful work.

  • The little town of Silver City, where a few people were placer mining, lay to the left of our road.

    Then and Now Robert Vaughn
  • It also employs a great deal of money, as quartz mining requires capital, while placer mining does not.

    The Land of the Kangaroo Thomas Wallace Knox
  • Then there is placer mining, so-called because it is a place on the bank of a river where the gold is found.

British Dictionary definitions for placer mining


  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 mining in Science
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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