One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of rocks or minerals) containing gold.
- ‘To protect potential mining sites and timber supplies, the Box-Ironbark eucalypt forests which characterised auriferous soils were held back from agricultural settlement.’
- ‘The combination of these factors limited the nature of auriferous fluids, if any, that could have deposited gold in zones of structurally induced permeability.’
- ‘The auriferous veins there are usually interbedded sandstone mudstone varieties metamorphosed into greenschist facies.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin aurifer ‘gold-bearing’ (from aurum ‘gold’) + -ous.
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