gold rush

gold rush


: a situation in which many people go quickly to a place where gold has been discovered because they hope to find more gold and become rich

Full Definition of GOLD RUSH

:  a rush to newly discovered goldfields in pursuit of riches
:  the headlong pursuit of sudden wealth in a new or lucrative field
gold rush·er \-ˈrə-shər\ noun

Examples of GOLD RUSH

  1. the California gold rush of 1849

First Known Use of GOLD RUSH


gold rush

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Rapid influx of fortune seekers to the site of newly discovered gold deposits. In North America, the first major gold strike occurred in California in 1848, when John Marshall, a carpenter building a sawmill for John Sutter, found gold. Within a year about 80,000 “forty-niners” (as the fortune seekers of 1849 were called) had flocked to the California gold fields, and 250,000 had arrived by 1853. Some mining camps grew into permanent settlements, and the demand for food, housing, and supplies propelled the new state's economy. As gold became more difficult to extract, companies and mechanical mining methods replaced individual prospectors. Smaller gold rushes occurred throughout the second half of the 19th century in Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, and Alaska, resulting in the rapid settlement of many areas; where gold veins proved small, the settlements later became ghost towns. Major gold rushes also occurred in Australia (1851), South Africa (1886), and Canada (1896). See also Klondike gold rush.


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