gold brick

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Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.

gold brick

n.
1. A bar of gilded cheap metal that appears to be genuine gold.
2. A fraudulent, worthless substitute.
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.

gold brick

n
1. something with only a superficial appearance of value
2. informal US an idler or shirker
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
Yet, to himself, he made the excuse of going to Glen Ellen for the purpose of inspecting the brickyard with which Holdsworthy had goldbricked him.