early 15c., "resembling gold, gold-colored," also figuratively, "splendid, brilliant," from Latin aureatus "decorated with gold," from aureus "golden," from aurum "gold," from PIE root *aus- (2) "gold" (source also of Sanskrit ayah "metal," Avestan ayo, Latin aes "brass," Old English ar "brass, copper, bronze," Gothic aiz "bronze," Old Lithuanian ausas "gold"), which is probably related to root *aus- (1) "to shine."
Especially of highly ornamented literary or rhetorical styles. Related: Aureation.
1827, from Greek khryselephantinos "of gold and ivory," applied to statues overlaid with gold and ivory, such as Athene Parthenos and Olympian Zeus.
1765, "an alloy of copper, zinc, and tin resembling gold," from French or moulu, literally "ground gold," from or "gold" (from Latin aurum, from PIE *aus- (2) "gold;" see aureate) + moulu "ground up," past participle of moudre "to grind," from Latin molere "to grind" (from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind"). The sense of the word before it reached English began as "gold leaf prepared for gilding bronze, brass, etc.," then shifted to "gilded bronze," then to various prepared metallic substances resembling it.
1814 in reference to the race that inhabits New Guinea (the large island north of Australia); earlier simply Papua (1610s), from Malay (Austronesian) papuah "frizzled." As an adjective by 1869.
gold coin of Spain and Spanish America, 1620s, from French doublon (16c.) and directly from Spanish doblon a gold coin, augmentative of doble "double" (coin so called because originally it was worth twice as much as the Spanish gold pistole), from Latin duplus "twofold, twice as much" (see double (adj.)). Also see -oon.
Middle Eastern unit of currency; generic name of Arab gold coins, 1630s, from Arabic dinar, originally the name of a gold coin issued by the caliphs of Damascus, from late Greek denarion, from Latin denarius (see denarius).