Definition of auriferous
: containing gold
Did You Know?
Students in chemistry class learn that the chemical symbol for gold is "Au." That symbol is based on "aurum," the Latin word for the element. In the 17th century, English speakers coined "auriferous" by appending the "-ous" ending to the Latin adjective aurifer, an offspring of "aurum" that means "containing gold" or "producing gold." (The "-fer" is from "ferre," a Latin verb meaning "to produce" or "to bear.") Not surprisingly, auriferous is a term that shows up in geological contexts. Some other descendants of "aurum" include "aureate" ("of a golden color" or "marked by grandiloquent style"), "auric" ("of, relating to, or derived from gold"), and the noun "or" ("the heraldic color gold or yellow").
Origin and Etymology of auriferous
Latin aurifer, from aurum + -fer -ferous
First Known Use: 1655
Rhymes with auriferous
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