Especially of highly ornamented literary or rhetorical styles. Related: Aureation.
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.
"a metalliferous mineral or rock," especially one worth mining, 12c., a merger of Old English ora "ore, unworked metal" (related to eorþe "earth;" see earth (n.); and cognate with Low German ur "iron-containing ore," Dutch oer, Old Norse aurr "gravel"); and Old English ar "brass, copper, bronze," from Proto-Germanic *ajiz- (source also of Old Norse eir "brass, copper," German ehern "brazen," Gothic aiz "bronze"), from PIE root *aus- (2) "gold" (see aureate). The two words were not fully assimilated till 17c.; what emerged has the regular modern form of ar but the meaning of ora.