from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of, relating to, made of, or containing gold.
  • adjective Having the color of gold or a yellow color suggestive of gold.
  • adjective Lustrous; radiant.
  • adjective Suggestive of gold, as in richness or splendor.
  • adjective Of the greatest value or importance; precious.
  • adjective Marked by peace, prosperity, and often creativeness.
  • adjective Very favorable or advantageous; excellent.
  • adjective Having a promising future; seemingly assured of success.
  • adjective Of or relating to a 50th anniversary.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To become golden in color.
  • Made of gold; consisting of gold.
  • Of the color or luster of gold; yellow; bright; shining; splendid: as, the golden sun; golden fruit: sometimes poetically used of blood.
  • Hence Excellent; most valuable; very precious: as, the golden rule.
  • Most happy or prosperous; marked by great happiness, prosperity, or progress: as, the golden age.
  • Preëminently favorable or auspicious: as, a golden opportunity.
  • In arithmetic, the rule of three. See rule.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Made of gold; consisting of gold.
  • adjective Having the color of gold.
  • adjective Very precious; highly valuable; excellent; eminently auspicious.
  • adjective (Roman Literature) That period in the history of a literature, etc., when it flourishes in its greatest purity or attains its greatest glory; as, the Elizabethan age has been considered the golden age of English literature.
  • adjective three gilt balls used as a sign of a pawnbroker's office or shop; -- originally taken from the coat of arms of Lombardy, the first money lenders in London having been Lombards.
  • adjective See under Bull, an edict.
  • adjective (Bot.) the shrub Cytisus Laburnum, so named from its long clusters of yellow blossoms.
  • adjective (Bot.) an aquatic plant (Orontium aquaticum), bearing a thick spike of minute yellow flowers.
  • adjective (Bot.) the buttercup.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) a large and powerful eagle (Aquila Chrysaëtos) inhabiting Europe, Asia, and North America. It is so called from the brownish yellow tips of the feathers on the head and neck. A dark variety is called the royal eagle; the young in the second year is the ring-tailed eagle.
  • adjective (Mythol.), (Her.) An order of knighthood instituted in 1429 by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy; -- called also Toison d'Or.
  • adjective [Slang] a bribe; a fee.
  • adjective (Bot.) a South African shrubby composite plant with golden yellow flowers, the Chrysocoma Coma-aurea.
  • adjective (Hist.) a tribe of Mongolian Tartars who overran and settled in Southern Russia early in the 18th century.
  • adjective a hagiology (the “Aurea Legenda”) written by James de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, in the 13th century, translated and printed by Caxton in 1483, and partially paraphrased by Longfellow in a poem thus entitled.
  • adjective [Obs.] tin.
  • adjective the way of wisdom and safety between extremes; sufficiency without excess; moderation.
  • adjective (Zoöl) one of several South African Insectivora of the family Chrysochloridæ, resembling moles in form and habits. The fur is tinted with green, purple, and gold.
  • adjective (Chronol.) a number showing the year of the lunar or Metonic cycle. It is reckoned from 1 to 19, and is so called from having formerly been written in the calendar in gold.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) See Oriole.
  • adjective See under Pheasant.
  • adjective a kind of apple, of a bright yellow color.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) one of several species of plovers, of the genus Charadrius, esp. the European (Charadrius apricarius, syn. Charadrius pluvialis; -- called also yellow plover, black-breasted plover, hill plover, and whistling plover. The common American species (Charadrius dominicus) is also called frostbird, and bullhead.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) See Baltimore oriole, in Vocab.
  • adjective (R. C. Ch.) a gold or gilded rose blessed by the pope on the fourth Sunday in Lent, and sent to some church or person in recognition of special services rendered to the Holy See.
  • adjective The rule of proportion, or rule of three.
  • adjective (Bot.) a composite plant (Inula crithmoides), found on the seashore of Europe.
  • adjective (Bot.) a low herb with yellow flowers (Chrysosplenium oppositifolium), blossoming in wet places in early spring.
  • adjective (Bot.) a perennial ranunculaceous herb (Hydrastis Canadensis), with a thick knotted rootstock and large rounded leaves.
  • adjective (Chem.) the pentasulphide of antimony, a golden or orange yellow powder.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) a common American wood warbler (Dendroica æstiva); -- called also blue-eyed yellow warbler, garden warbler, and summer yellow bird.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) a bright-colored hymenopterous insect, of the family Chrysididæ. The colors are golden, blue, and green.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English golden, a restored form (due to the noun gold) of earlier Middle English gulden, gylden, gilden ("golden"), from Old English gylden ("golden"), from Proto-Germanic *gulþīnaz (“golden, made of gold”), equivalent to gold +‎ -en. Cognate with Dutch gouden ("golden"), German gülden, golden ("golden"), Danish gylden ("golden"). More at gold.


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  • Thus too a German writer who desired to tell of the golden shoes with which the folly of Caligula adorned his horse could scarcely avoid speaking of _golden_ hoof-_irons_.

    English Past and Present Richard Chenevix Trench 1846

  • The crowning touch was added to this delirious moment of festival by the simply scandalous distribution of golden coin, _golden_ mind you, which attendants clothed in every colour of an Egyptian sunset, and mounted upon diminutive, but pure bred donkeys, threw right and left with no stinting hand, to the distribution of which largesse responded shrill laughter, and still shriller cries, and thwack of stick on dark brown pate and cries of pain upon the meeting of youthful ivories in the aged ankle or wrist.

    Desert Love Joan Conquest

  • There you would see a regular 'golden company.'"{21a} One jester told me that this was no longer a company, but a _golden regiment_: so greatly had their numbers increased.

    What to Do? Leo Tolstoy 1869

  • II. iii.117 (452,3) Here, lay Duncan,/His silver skin lac'd with his golden blood] Mr. Pope has endeavoured to improve one of these lines by substituting _goary blood_ for _golden blood_; but it may easily be admitted that he who could on such an occasion talk of _lacing the silyer skin_, would _lace it_ with _golden blood_.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies Samuel Johnson 1746

  • I love the term "golden monkeys" in relation to child actors, but it's what kept my parents from letting me pursue my passion professionally until I graduated college errr...until I graduate a year.

    The Full Feed from The Huffington Post 2012

  • I love the term "golden monkeys" in relation to child actors, but it's what kept my parents from letting me pursue my passion professionally until I graduated college errr...until I graduate a year.

    The Full Feed from The Huffington Post 2012

  • Textbooks on technical analysis cite Japan as the origin of the phrase "golden cross" and its counterpart, "the dead cross," in which the 50-day moving average goes below the 200-day moving average.

    Crossing a Golden Barrier Brendan Conway 2012

  • Whoever it was who came up with the phrase "golden years" might have had Bruce Malkenhorst Sr. in mind.

    State and local workers: Gone but not off the books 2011

  • Whoever it was who came up with the phrase "golden years" might have had Bruce Malkenhorst Sr. in mind.

    State and local workers: Gone but not off the books 2011

  • ‡ The term golden handshake means essentially the same thing: “The principal accepted the golden handshake in lieu of being demoted to assistant principal.

    golden parachute 2002

  • If the proposal is approved, a sediment core from Crawford Lake — which lies in a conservation area near Toronto — would become the ‘golden spike’ marking the beginning of the Anthropocene, the geological epoch in which humanity has profoundly affected Earth.

    This quiet lake could mark the start of a new Anthropocene epoch Alexandra Witze 2023


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