fool's gold


Definition of fool's gold

: pyrite broadly : any of various pyritic minerals resembling gold

Examples of fool's gold in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Kitchens’ shine proved to be fool's gold, and Dorsey’s credibility takes a hit because of his lack of discernment in this area. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: After firing Freddie Kitchens, Browns need next coach to get team in order," 30 Dec. 2019 There's a mine built into the ground of the basement, which had revealed traces of gold when built, later found to be fool's gold. Mackenzie Shuman, azcentral, "Posh Places: $2.5M Wickenburg 'Shipworm Shack' for sale," 7 Dec. 2019 Davis, of course, had been burned before by the Wolverines, that Big Ten equivalent of fool's gold. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football is in a familiar spot: Below its preseason ranking," 24 Oct. 2019 Materials like the copper ore mineral chalcocite and fool's gold, pyrite, are sulfidic anions. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Sulfuric Volcanoes May Have Quickened Life on Earth," 9 Apr. 2018 Clarkson, a career 33 percent long distance shooter, going 3-of-4 is fool's gold. Chris Fedor,, "Cleveland Cavaliers go back to their old, fun bombs-away style," 12 Feb. 2018 Is this an upgrade from the last season or a fool's gold? -- Masoud, Tucson, Ariz. A: The most important thing about the start of this season is to forget about the finish of last season. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Are Heat starting to find their formula?," 10 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fool's gold.' 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 fool's gold

1872, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for fool's gold

Time Traveler

The first known use of fool's gold was in 1872

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Statistics for fool's gold

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fool's gold.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fool's gold

fool's gold


Financial Definition of fool's gold

What It Is

Fool's gold is a shiny mineral called pyrite which bears great resemblance to, and is often confused with, real gold.

How It Works

Actually an iron-based mineral, pyrite is known for being yellow and shiny and appearing no different from real gold. But unlike real gold, fool's gold bears little, if any, intrinsic, social, or market value. Fool's gold has historically been found in mass quantities and mistaken for gold ore. Its name refers to those it "fools" into believing they have discovered a gold mine.

Why It Matters

Though it's no longer a term specific to mining, the term fool's gold is still often used to describe an investment that appears promising to the uninformed, but whose underlying value is actually nothing.

Source: Investing Answers

fool's gold


English Language Learners Definition of fool's gold

: a mineral that looks like gold

More from Merriam-Webster on fool's gold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fool's gold Encyclopedia article about fool's gold

Comments on fool's gold

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