noun, often attributive
\ ˈgōld How to pronounce gold (audio) \

Definition of gold

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a yellow metallic element that occurs naturally in pure form and is used especially in coins, jewelry, and electronics — see Chemical Elements Table
2a(1) : gold coins
(2) : a gold piece
b : money
3 : a variable color averaging deep yellow
4 : something resembling gold especially : something valued as the finest of its kind a heart of gold
5 : a medal awarded as the first prize in a competition : a gold medal



Definition of gold (Entry 2 of 2)

: qualifying for a gold record
go gold
: to have enough sales to qualify for a gold record the album went gold

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Synonyms for gold

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of gold in a Sentence

Noun diamonds in a setting of 24-karat gold What is the price of gold?
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Things have changed since the U.S. teams disembarked from the Silver Cloud holding gold medals. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "DeMarcus Cousins hopes to resuscitate his career and claim a title with the Clippers," 7 Apr. 2021 Spitz won seven gold medals and set a world record with each. Katie Prout, The New Republic, "Inside the Last Men’s Hotel in Chicago," 2 Apr. 2021 Miracle and Suriano won gold medals, Molinari silver and Valencia bronze at the Henri Deglane Grand Prix (France) in January. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "Valencia, Miracle head Arizona contenders at wrestling Olympic Trials," 1 Apr. 2021 The former Connecticut stars are in contention for a fifth Olympics, which would put them in company with Teresa Edwards, who played in five Olympics from 1984-2000 and won four gold medals. Jeff Metcalfe, USA TODAY, "Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi talk Olympics, NCAA tournament inequities and controversial no-call in UConn's win," 31 Mar. 2021 And Leelanau Wine Cellars of Omena, Michigan triumphed with one Best of Class, one Double Gold and two gold medals. Carey Sweet, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sponsored: Competition winners highlight lesser known U.S. wine regions," 31 Mar. 2021 Bird and Taurasi, who will be going for their fifth Olympic gold medals this summer, spoke to the media from San Antonio, where the USA Basketball Women’s National Team is conducting a four-day training camp in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. Alexa Philippou,, "Would UConn women’s basketball freshman Paige Bueckers be the No. 1 pick in this year’s WNBA Draft? Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird think so," 30 Mar. 2021 Dawn Staley and Nell Fortner won Olympic gold medals together as player and coach. Jim Vertuno, ajc, "Sweet 16 coaches Staley and Fortner share Olympic bond," 27 Mar. 2021 Foote captured gold medals at the UIL Class 5A state championships in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke. David Hinojosa, San Antonio Express-News, "Swimming and diving: 2021 E-N All-Area teams," 27 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Mantoa’s story begins with the death of her son on his way back from the gold mines in South Africa. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, "The First Masterpiece of 2021 Is Here," 7 Apr. 2021 The Nautilus 5980, a rose gold chronograph sports watch from Patek Philippe that has a retail price of $85,000, can seldom be found on 47th Street for much less than $200,000. Jacob Bernstein, Star Tribune, "Bored rich people turn to collectibles as investments," 6 Apr. 2021 That medal — a gold disk on a red ribbon — is no longer bestowed, but the fire department was able to find one in storage. Washington Post, "A brave rescue in 1978 is still a part of District firefighting lore," 29 Mar. 2021 Her attention to soul songs as lullabies, sugar flowers on cakes, the striped socks of inappropriate men and the green cast of a gold wedding band amplifies our awareness of and affection for the world. Lauren Leblanc, Los Angeles Times, "Escape 2021’s sourdough hellscape with Laurie Colwin’s delightful reissued books," 25 Mar. 2021 The walls are clean, save for a vertical row of my own framed photographs and a five-inch pair of gold ornamental boxing gloves. Arielle Dollinger, House Beautiful, "How a Year of Lockdown Encouraged Me to Make Space for Myself," 25 Mar. 2021 One of these is a medieval seal matrix; engraved with an image of an elephant carrying a castle on its back, the gold object would have been used to seal letters or documents. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Was This Ornament of a Knight Emerging From a Snail Shell a ‘Medieval Meme’?," 24 Mar. 2021 Videos posted to social media showed one woman in a gold bikini standing up high on a car and twerking away, her bikini bottoms pulled down to partially expose her derriere. Susannah Bryan,, "Fort Lauderdale hoping to avoid Spring Break madness hitting Miami Beach," 21 Mar. 2021 There was a gold mesh bra, a line of ballpoint pens, silverware, ashtrays, even a sterling silver pizza cutter. New York Times, "Elsa Peretti, Star Designer of Elegant Jewelry, Dies at 80," 21 Mar. 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1969, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gold


Middle English, going back to Old English, neuter strong noun, going back to Germanic *gulþa-/*gulđa- (with varying accentuation, whence also Old Frisian, Old Saxon, and Old High German gold "gold," Old Norse gull, goll, Gothic gulþ), going back to dialectal Indo-European *ǵhl̥(h3)-to-, with full-grade ablaut *ǵhel(h3)-to- (in Latvian zȩ̀lts "gold," Old Prussian sealtmeno "oriole") and o-grade *ǵhol(h3)-to- (in Slavic *zȍlto, whence Old Church Slavic zlato "gold," Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian zlâto, Polish złoto, Russian zóloto), all derivatives with the adjectival suffix *-to- from Indo-European *ǵhelh3- "yellow, green" — more at yellow entry 1

Note: The formation of a word for "gold" from a *-to- derivative of Indo-European *ǵhelh3- "yellow, green" is peculiar to Germanic, Slavic, and, in part, Baltic. An Indo-Iranian word for "gold" is formed with different suffixation from the same root: *ǵhl̥h3-en-i̯o-, whence Sanskrit híranya- "gold," Avestan zarańiia-. A full display of forms in medieval and modern languages and loans into non-Indo-European languages is contained in the article "Indo-European 'Gold' in Time and Space" by Václav Blažek, Journal of Indo-European Studies, vol. 45, No. 3 (fall/winter 2017), pp. 267-311.

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Time Traveler for gold

Time Traveler

The first known use of gold was before the 12th century

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Statistics for gold

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for gold



English Language Learners Definition of gold

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a soft yellow metal that is very valuable and that is used especially in jewelry
: gold coins
: a deep yellow color



English Language Learners Definition of gold (Entry 2 of 2)

: made of or from gold
: having a gold color


\ ˈgōld How to pronounce gold (audio) \

Kids Definition of gold

1 : a soft yellow metallic chemical element used especially in coins and jewelry
2 : gold coins
3 : a medal awarded as the first prize in a competition
4 : a deep yellow


noun, often attributive
\ ˈgōld How to pronounce gold (audio) \

Medical Definition of gold

: a malleable ductile yellow metallic element that occurs chiefly free or in a few minerals and is used especially in coins, jewelry, and dentures and in the form of its salts (as gold sodium thiomalate) especially in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis symbol Au — see Chemical Elements Table

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