gold brick

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Also found in: Financial, 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 periodicals archive ?
Having said all that, I have to admit that in my lifetime of having met a rather broad socioeconomic scale of humanity, I have encountered few true goldbrickers. Call me crazy, but I think most people have at least the potential of being good workers--it's just that the potential isn't always realized.
When Waldo Emerson bailed his pal, Henry Thoreau, from Concord jail for vagrancy on the Post Road, Congress earned their double-eagle daily reporting to Sergeant-at-Arms, & they kept a dungeon for goldbrickers in the Capital cellar.