El Dorado

El Do·​ra·​do | \ ˌel-də-ˈrä-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce El Dorado (audio) , -ˈrā- \

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

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.

First Known Use of El Dorado

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for El Dorado

Spanish, literally, the gilded one

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The first known use of El Dorado was in 1596

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Cite this Entry

“El Dorado.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/El%20Dorado. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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