auriferous

adjective
au·​rif·​er·​ous | \ ȯ-ˈri-f(ə-)rəs How to pronounce auriferous (audio) \

Definition of auriferous

: containing gold

The Golden History of Auriferous

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").

Examples of auriferous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not, ipso facto, auriferous. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'auriferous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of auriferous

1655, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for auriferous

Latin aurifer, from aurum + -fer -ferous

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The first known use of auriferous was in 1655

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Dictionary Entries Near auriferous

auricyanic acid

auriferous

aurific

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Cite this Entry

“Auriferous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/auriferous. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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