hit pay dirt

hit pay dirt

To discover or come upon something very, particularly, or abundantly valuable or useful, especially after a long or arduous search. I had been combing through books in the library for hours trying to find material for my thesis, when finally I hit pay dirt with an old collection of literary criticisms from the 1970s. One of my fondest memories was searching through my grandfather's attic when I was a kid, convinced that some day I would hit pay dirt.
See also: dirt, hit, pay
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hit pay dirt

1. Fig. to discover something of value. (Alludes to discovering valuable ore.) Sally tried a number of different jobs until she hit pay dirt. I tried to borrow money from a lot of different people. They all said no. Then when I went to the bank, I hit pay dirt.
2. Fig. to get great riches. After years of poverty, the writer hit pay dirt with his third novel. Jane's doing well. She really hit pay dirt with her new business.
See also: dirt, hit, pay
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pay dirt, hit

Also, strike pay dirt. Make a valuable discovery or large profit, as in We've been researching the source of that quotation for a month and we finally hit pay dirt in the Library of Congress . This idiom, from the mid-1800s, refers to a miner's finding gold or other precious metals while sifting soil. By the late 1800s it had been transferred to other lucrative discoveries.
See also: hit, pay
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hit pay dirt


strike pay dirt

If you hit pay dirt or strike pay dirt, you find or achieve something important and valuable. Note: `Pay dirt' is often written as `paydirt'. `Let's not give up on the courts,' Millard says. `We still might hit pay dirt with one of the issues.' The first two people with whom she spoke hung up on her. With the third, she struck pay dirt. The archeologists started in spring and hit paydirt: sets of bones, presumably of Carib Indians. Note: This expression probably refers to earth which contains enough gold dust to make it financially worthwhile to look for gold in it.
See also: dirt, hit, pay
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

hit/strike ˈpay dirt

(informal, especially American English) suddenly be in a successful situation, especially one that makes you rich: The band hit pay dirt two years ago with their first album, but have since been less successful.This comes from mining. Pay dirt is earth that contains valuable minerals or metal such as gold.
See also: dirt, hit, pay, strike
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hit pay dirt

and strike pay dirt
1. tv. to discover something of value. When we opened the last trunk, we knew we had hit pay dirt.
2. tv. to get to the basic facts of something. When we figured out the code, we really struck pay dirt.
See also: dirt, hit, pay
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

pay dirt, to hit/strike

To find something very valuable; to profit hugely. The term comes from mining, where it literally refers to finding soil (dirt) that contains gold, silver, or some other precious ore. By the late nineteenth century it had been transferred to other lucrative discoveries and financial success. The term originated in mid-nineteenth-century America, probably during the Gold Rush.
See also: hit, pay, strike, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"I retire three years from now, I would hit pay dirt. Hindi na ako makatakbo retire na ako [I can't run anymore, I'll be retired].
He enlisted a team of divers in 2015 to search for bottles but didn't hit pay dirt until 2017, after storms shifted sands and made the first-class dining room accessible.
Perry siblings Kimberly, Reid and Neil hit pay dirt with their self-titled debut album when the single "If I Die Young" reached No.
Signal has hit pay dirt with The Buzz, where David Bazzel, Justin Acri and crew have proved the value of their Razorbacks expertise in drawing a sports audience.
Is it merely the enduring legacy of Pele or Maradona that prompts such extreme reactions, or is it the wish fulfilment of the image of a street footballer fighting squalor and poverty to hit pay dirt that captures the imagination?
It is a field of 10 that will be heading to the bottle-green starting gates for the 10-furlong contest on dirt and any one of the 10 could hit pay dirt on the night.
As a result those favored few really hit pay dirt until the 'gaya-gaya' mentality in Philippine business resulted in many more experts showing up and driving professional fees to the ground.
Fuzzy Thurston led an offensive wall that made it easy for glamour puss Paul Hornung to hit pay dirt with abandon.
When the New Year begins with three promising cases, Bluestone thinks he's hit pay dirt. But then the cases link dangerously together--and to his own past.
It's likely she may never hit pay dirt, but Abaniel sees three to four more good years in her before taking the coaching route.
Intent on self-producing his debut album, Outlaw hit pay dirt when his band's drummer, Joachim Cooder, took some rough demos home and his father was impressed.
Roland Emmerich's first big movie before he hit pay dirt with Independence Day welds ancient Egyptian myth nascent internet conspiracy theories (this is 1994).
Mahindra, with Manny Pacquiao again busy with other things, finally hit pay dirt earlier by claiming a big victim in NLEX, 103-93.
Cable television has hit pay dirt with its seemingly unending flow of miniseries documenting the peccadilloes of early modern monarchs.
Sold for just $58,000 in HIL auction while others hit pay dirt