American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One who took part in the 1849 California gold rush.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of the adventurers, chiefly from the United States, who went to California in search of fortune soon after the discovery of gold there in 1848. The greater number of them arrived in 1849; hence the name.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Colloq., U. S. One the miners who took part in the California gold rush in 1849; an argonaut.
- n. a miner who took part in the California gold rush in 1849
“For example, in "Das Rheingold," which begins the cycle and sets up the struggle between gods and dwarves for control of the Ring, the dwarf Alberich is a forty-niner who steals the gold from the Rhinemaidens in a pristine American West.”
“The Fed's a whiz, providing, like a forty-niner, the gold for fools it stores inside a Fort Knox vault, with all the tools that help us to delay default, which defies all common sense because we know they tell us lies about how much we're going to owe, and how much our children and grandchildren must pay when the clutch. arrives and we are dead as dust.”
“It ran along a coastal barrier the other side of Biscayne Bay from young Miami — in 1868 when Henry Lum, a California 'forty-niner, first glimpsed the island from a schooner, you may be certain it was jungle, cocoanut palms on the sand, mangrove swamp and palmetto thicket ten feet off the beach.”
“In a cavern in a canyon, excavating for a mine, dwelt a miner, forty-niner, and his daughter Clementine.”
“Was it the spirit of some poor forty-niner come back again?”
“He has been seventeen years on the Pacific side of the continent, came out as a "forty-niner," has travelled a great deal, and taken notes of all he has seen, and said he thought of making use of them some time, if his employments would ever admit of it.”
“He wasn't exactly a forty-niner," I acknowledged.”
“A forty-niner's a forty-niner, and a man that came in fifty -- well, he might as well have come in sixty or seventy, or even in the twentieth century.”
“Yerba Buena and the reminiscences of a forty-niner.”
“Hard luck," sympathized the old man, "coming near to being a forty-niner and missing it.”
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