Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • A legendary city or historical region of the New World, often thought to be in South America, that was fabled for its great wealth of gold and precious jewels and eagerly sought by 16th- and 17th-century explorers, including Sir Walter Raleigh.
  • n. A place of fabulous wealth or inordinately great opportunity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A Muisca tribal chief who covered himself in gold dust
  • proper n. A legendary lost city of gold
  • proper n. Thus, any place of fabulous wealth

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A name given by the Spaniards in the 16th century to an imaginary country in the interior of South America, reputed to abound in gold and precious stones.
  • Any region of fabulous wealth; exceeding richness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A country rich beyond all precedent in gold and jewels, which the early Spanish explorers believed to exist somewhere in the new world, and which Orellana averred that he had found in his voyage down the Amazon in 1540-41.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an imaginary place of great wealth and opportunity; sought in South America by 16th-century explorers
  • n. an imaginary place of great wealth and opportunity; sought in South America by 16th-century explorers

Etymologies

After El Dorado 1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Spanish The golden one (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • (for he had married the danseuse Clotilde Mafleuray, whose notorious infidelity made his name a byword), exiled himself to Russia, even then looked on as an El Dorado for the musician, where he spent eight years as conductor and composer of the Imperial Opera.

    The Great Italian and French Composers

  • New York Tribune, and published several books of travel and poetry, among which are Views Afoot (1846), an account of his travels in Europe, and El Dorado (1850), which described the Californian gold-fields.

    A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature

  • August saw me rock climbing with my fellow amputee and friend Malcolm Daly in El Dorado Canyon near Boulder, pacing my friend Rich Haefele to his first ultramarathon finish in the Leadville Trail 100, and surviving two hair-raising back-to-back days of intense photo shoots for GQ’s “Men of the Year” issue and Vanity Fair’s “People of 2003” issue.

    127 Hours

  • The ginseng is a real El Dorado of treasure to the Dukhobors, and it ought to be celebrated in poetry.

    Janey Canuck in the West

  • Then there were De Witt Gump, the physician and druggist; Chesterfield Gump, the general dry goods merchant; Aristotle Gump, architect and builder, and professor of mathematics in the Gump Academy; Hezekiah Gump, the hardware merchant and president of the El Dorado Board of Trade; Ezekiel Gump, real estate agent, superintendent of waterworks, professor of natural sciences, etc.

    El Dorado: A Kansas Recessional

  • There are no roads connecting Panama to South America over the wild Darien Gap, so I flew on to the El Dorado Airport in Bogota to start my year as a volunteer with El Minuto de Dios in Colombia.

    A Billion Lives

  • As soon as the news of the hegira of the Gumps got abroad, carriages and horses came from all the towns in the country, bringing to the citizens of El Dorado their attentive creditors.

    El Dorado: A Kansas Recessional

  • There was great excitement in El Dorado at these tidings, and the sympathy of its inhabitants was so genuine that they scarcely stopped to think what the departure of the Gumps might mean.

    El Dorado: A Kansas Recessional

  • W.W. Bibb was appointed, by Mr. Madison, Territorial Governor of Alabama, and was followed to the new El Dorado by his brothers, Thomas,

    The Memories of Fifty Years

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