Definition of El Dorado
1 : a city or country of fabulous riches held by 16th century explorers to exist in South America
2 : a place of fabulous wealth or opportunity
El Dorado was our Word of the Day on 08/14/2009. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
In the early 1500s, Spanish conquistadores heard tales of an Amazonian king who regularly coated his body with gold dust, then plunged into a nearby lake to wash it off while being showered with gold and jewels thrown by his subjects. The Spaniards called the city ruled by this flamboyant monarch El Dorado, Spanish for "gilded one," and the story of the gold-covered king eventually grew into a legend of a whole country paved with gold. These days, El Dorado can also used generically for any place of vast riches, abundance, or opportunity. It is also the name of actual cities in Arkansas and Kansas.
Origin and Etymology of el dorado
Spanish, literally, the gilded one
First Known Use: 1596
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