eu·​re·​ka | \ yu̇-ˈrē-kə How to pronounce eureka (audio) \

Definition of eureka

 (Entry 1 of 4)

used to express triumph on a discovery



Definition of eureka (Entry 2 of 4)

: marked by usually sudden triumphant discovery a eureka moment


Greek verb
eu·​re·​ka | \ yu̇-ˈrē-kä How to pronounce eureka (audio) \

Definition of eureka (Entry 3 of 4)

: I have found (it) motto of California


geographical name
Eu·​re·​ka | \ yu̇-ˈrē-kə How to pronounce Eureka (audio) \

Definition of Eureka (Entry 4 of 4)

city and port on Humboldt Bay in northwestern California population 27,191

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Did You Know?

When people exclaim Eureka! they are reenacting a legendary event in the life of the Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes. While wrestling with the problem of how to determine the purity of gold, he made the sudden realization that the buoyancy of an object placed in water is equal in magnitude to the weight of the water the object displaces. According to one popular version of the legend, he made his discovery at a public bathhouse, whereupon he leapt out of his bath, exclaimed “Heureka! Heureka!” (“I have found it!”), and ran home naked through the streets. The absence of a contemporary source for this anecdote has done nothing to diminish its popularity over the centuries.

Examples of eureka in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Driving between his properties in Zambia back in 2010, Green Safaris’ founder Vincent Kouwenhoven’s eureka moment came when switching off his Land Rover to watch a pack of lions. Lee Middleton, Quartz Africa, "Luxury safaris are trying to reinvent by getting greener and curbing an “Out of Africa” culture," 14 June 2019 Lacking those eureka bursts, Upheaval settles into story time. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Republic, "All Over the Map," 11 June 2019 Then the host had a eureka moment that changed television for good. Kyle Swenson,, "Jerry Springer changed TV forever. After 27 seasons, his daytime talk circus may be over.," 20 June 2018 The eureka moment worked, with the tiny symbol helping to imprint the brand name on consumer tastes. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Kate Spade began with a simple wish: An unfussy handbag," 5 June 2018 A few years ago, Branson—a 35-year-old branding professional with a three-centuries-old family farm in the north of England—had a sort of eureka moment. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Finally: What to Drink When You're Not Drinking," 1 June 2018 In 1990, the physicist Scott Stornetta had a eureka moment while getting ice cream with his family at a Friendly’s restaurant in Morristown, N.J. Amy Whitaker, WSJ, "The Eureka Moment That Made Bitcoin Possible," 25 May 2018 As the future of the traditional Berber region by Mount Boutmezguida floundered, a mathematician whose family came from the area had a eureka moment gleaned from living overseas – using fog to make water. The Christian Science Monitor, "Fog catchers turn mist into water in the Moroccan mountains," 17 May 2018 Sure, journalists might focus on the eureka moment or the fascinating details of the methods some scientist used. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Scientists Are Subverting Formal Publication. Well, Some of Them.," 16 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of eureka


1603, in the meaning defined above


1948, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for eureka


Greek heurēka I have found, from heuriskein to find; from the exclamation attributed to Archimedes on discovering a method for determining the purity of gold — more at heuristic

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Time Traveler for eureka

The first known use of eureka was in 1603

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More Definitions for eureka



English Language Learners Definition of eureka

used to express excitement when a discovery has been made

More from Merriam-Webster on eureka

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eureka Encyclopedia article about eureka

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something desired as essential

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