Word of the Day: auriferous

Eyes of Gold
Source: reveriesummoner.deviantart.com/

Word of the Day: auriferous

Auriferous (adjective) aw-RIF-uh-russ


1 containing gold

2 dark yellow


aureate; aurelian; auric; aurous; aurulent; blond; blonde; caramel; dusty; flaxen; gilded; gilt; halcyon; honeyed; mellow yellow; ochroid; straw; tan; tawny; wheat


Auriferous, uraninitic, hydrocarbon-rich stromatolite rock
James St. John

The mining company has discovered many auriferous deposits throughout the region.

“Development … on the east flank of the Huachuca Mountains occurred after the 1911 discovery of a gold nugget weighing 22 ounces, probably originating from auriferous quartz veins found in the granite beds upstream.” — William Ascarza, The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ), 26 Sept. 2016

Did You Know?

Students in chemistry class learn that the chemical symbol for gold is Au. That symbol is based on aurum, the Latin word for the element. In the 17th century, English speakers coined auriferous by appending the -ous ending to the Latin adjective aurifer, an offspring of aurum that means “containing gold” or “producing gold.” (The -fer is from ferre, a Latin verb meaning “to produce” or “to bear.”) Not surprisingly, auriferous is a term that shows up in geological contexts. Some other descendants of aurum include aureate (“of a golden color” or “marked by grandiloquent style”), auric(“of, relating to, or derived from gold”), and the noun or (“the heraldic color gold or yellow”).

My Take

auriferous “yielding gold”
Source: studiobritten.com/fine-artist-britten

Auriferous means ‘containing gold.’ It could also mean something that is gold colored or emulating gold. As I looked into the term, I discovered that it is used mostly in the mining industry. As in ‘a vein of auriferous rock found contains gold.’

Wow, I have never seen gold in its raw form embedded in rock. I may never. I don’t care if I do. What I do care about is how society seems to be driven by this element. It is relatively abundant mineral, so why the fuss. I know it looks pretty when refined and polished. It never tarnishes, it’s a good conductor of electricity, and highly malleable. But does that mean people need to covet it?

Livid by Auriferous Art

I’ll let you ponder that question. Moving on, I found a couple of artists who focus their fine-art on the color. Reverie Summoner and Auriferous Art have many pieces up on display at Deviant Art. I include a piece of each from their collection for you to check out. I’m a sucker for promoting people’s artwork. Hopefully, someone will promote mine.

I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Don’t you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.

If you share this post by clicking one of the twitter buttons, I will treat you with a sexier image related to the word. My gift to you.

mw_logoBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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