fool's gold

noun
Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of fool's gold

: pyrite; broadly : any of various pyritic minerals resembling gold

First Known Use of fool's gold

1872


fool's paradise

noun

Definition of fool's paradise

: a state of delusory happiness

Examples of fool's paradise in a Sentence

  1. We are headed for economic trouble, and anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a fool's paradise.

First Known Use of fool's paradise

15th century


fool's parsley

noun

Definition of fool's parsley

: a poisonous European weed (Aethusa cynapium) of the carrot family that resembles parsley and is naturalized in the northern U.S. and southern Canada

First Known Use of fool's parsley

1755


fool's-coat

noun

Definition of fool's-coat

plural fool's-coats
: goldfinch 1a

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

Origin and Etymology of fool's-coat

so called from its gaudy, multicolored plumage


fool's cress

noun

Definition of fool's cress


fool's errand

noun

Definition of fool's errand

: a needless or profitless errand

fool's huckleberry

noun

Definition of fool's huckleberry

: a straggling shrub (Menziesia ferruginea) of northwestern North America with glandular hirsute petioles and pedicels

fool's-stones

noun plural but singular or plural in construction

Definition of fool's-stones

: any of several European orchids of the genus Orchis

Origin and Etymology of fool's-stones

so called from the resemblance of the roots to testes


fool's watercress

noun

Definition of fool's watercress

: a European perennial herb (Apium nodiflorum) with simple pinnate leaves and umbels of greenish white flowers

Financial Definition of FOOL'S GOLD

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.


FOOL'S GOLD Defined for English Language Learners

fool's gold

noun

Definition of fool's gold for English Language Learners

  • : a mineral that looks like gold


fool's paradise

noun

Definition of fool's paradise for English Language Learners

  • : a state of happiness that is based on mistaken beliefs or false ideas


Learn More about fool's gold


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up fool's gold? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

food, provisions, or a tasty dish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!