Gol·​con·​da gäl-ˈkän-də How to pronounce Golconda (audio)
: a rich mine
broadly : a source of great wealth

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In the 16th century, Golconda was the capital of the Qutb Shahi kingdom in southern India, near modern Hyderabad. The city was home to one of the most powerful Muslim sultanates in the region and was the center of a flourishing diamond trade. Magnificent diamonds were taken from the mines in the hills surrounding Golconda, including Darya-e Nur (meaning "sea of light"), at 185 carats, the largest and finest diamond of the crown jewels of Iran. By the 1880s, "Golconda" was being used generically by English speakers to refer to any particularly rich mine, and later to any source of great wealth.

Word History


Golconda, India, famous for its diamonds

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Golconda was in 1833


Dictionary Entries Near Golconda

Cite this Entry

“Golconda.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Golconda. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Gol·​con·​da gäl-ˈkän-də How to pronounce Golconda (audio)
ruined city west of Hyderabad in western Telangana, central India; capital (1512–1687) of a Muslim sultanate

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