Definition of forty-niner in English:



  • A prospector in the California gold rush of 1849.

    • ‘As the forty-niners crossed the Rockies, one-third of them, after reaching Fort Bridger in southwestern Wyoming, detoured from the main trail through southern Idaho and across northern Nevada.’
    • ‘J.D. Borthwick, an English visitor, was amused at the swaggering style of the forty-niners.’
    • ‘Born in Placerville, California, where his maternal grandparents were forty-niners, Gagliani grew up in the Italian community of San Francisco.’
    • ‘During the great California gold rush of 1849, thousands of forty-niners made fortunes mining gold.’
    • ‘We identified the person in the photograph as Mary McCloskey, a young girl who sought her fortune in the California goldfields as a forty-niner.’
    • ‘It was the grape of choice to slake the thirst of forty-niners.’
    • ‘The following year saw thousands of forty-niners heading west to make their fortune.’
    • ‘On the eve of departure, many forty-niners also visited the daguerreian studio to have a ‘likeness’ or two taken for their closest and best-loved female companions, their mothers, wives and sweethearts.’
    • ‘Based in Walnut Creek and Lotus, Calif. - right by the mother lode that drew the forty-niners out West for the Gold Rush - AO Rafting seems isolated, deep in canyon country.’
    • ‘Photographers like Vance captured studio dream and camp reality, treasured as mementos of a personal journey by the forty-niners and their female relatives.’
    • ‘Beyond the sudden wealth, the celebrity criminals, and a few famous writers, the forty-niners ushered California into the modern age with an environmental disaster of the first magnitude.’
    • ‘Most of these ‘forty-niners’ had never before left the places where they had grown up.’
    • ‘Tucked in the northwest corner of Nevada, the Black Rock Desert and High Rock Canyon look much the same as they did when the forty-niners journeyed through.’
    • ‘Actually, the forty-niners employed technology from the beginning.’