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One who took part in the 1849 California gold rush.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Historical Terms) (sometimes capital) history US a prospector who took part in the California gold rush of 1849
2. : 49er a type of dinghy, designed to be crewed by two people
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌfɔr tiˈnaɪ nər)

a person participating in the California gold rush in 1849.
[1850–55, Amer.]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.forty-niner - a miner who took part in the California gold rush in 1849forty-niner - a miner who took part in the California gold rush in 1849
gold digger, gold miner, gold panner - a miner who digs or pans for gold in a gold field
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"Just break out that regular song of yours, old Forty-Niner," was the invariable reply.
Its founder was John Benson, a forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the famous American impressionist painter, Winslow Homer.
Line after line on the forty-niner's, Never ever wins,...
A North Sea B South Atlantic C Coral Sea D Pacific Ocean QUESTION 8 - for 8 points: What in US history was a forty-niner? A A Korean War veteran B A person who had crossed America on a wagon train C A Civil War survivor D A gold prospector QUESTION 9 - for 9 points: In which city did a terrorist bombing atrocity halt a major marathon race in 2013?
"It seems that Worcester meant enough for an original prospector, probably a forty-niner, to put the name through the ranches and sand dunes so long ago.
Lured in by the knowledge that there might be a million up for grabs, this modern-day California Forty-Niner bet the minimum on two lines and raked in the biggest pot ever, a day at the races worth pounds 1.45 million.
Salvatore John Manna's resourceful piece, "A Brothers' Reunion: Evolution's Champion Alfred Russel Wallace and Forty-niner John Wallace," reveals the remarkable careers and touching relationship of the most famous living naturalist of his time and his brother, who was perhaps the most accomplished civil engineer in the Sierra and Central Valley.
One wouldn't have known without reading Zambello's comments in the program, where one learns Alberich is in suspenders and boots because he's a Forty-Niner prospecting in the Colorado River and the nymphs cavorting on his sluice are mining-camp doxies.
Amador, 83, offered details spanning a lifetime, from his childhood to his labors as a Forty-Niner in the California Gold Rush and dwelling on the major political events of his day.