What does the idiom "golden opportunity" mean?

You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase golden opportunity, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression golden opportunity used and what is its meaning?

Meaning of "golden opportunity"


The idiom 'golden opportunity' has two related, yet slightly different definitions. Generally, it refers to a chance to do something important or beneficial that is unlikely to happen again. Thus, a golden opportunity is rare and should be taken advantage of immediately. The second definition of the phrase, which is in line with the first, is that a golden opportunity is an ideal way to accomplish something. This could mean that the opportunity has all the resources or qualities needed to achieve success.


The phrase 'golden opportunity' has a long history and dates back to the 1600s. The phrase first appeared in print in the works of the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1786. The phrase was originally used to refer to a chance to make a positive change, and the use of the word 'golden' is believed to relate to the preciousness of the opportunity and the value placed upon it. Although it is not clear where the phrase originated, it is believed that the phrase was derived from the Latin 'aurum,' which translates to 'gold.'


The idiom 'golden opportunity' is typically used to refer to a situation that offers a unique possibility to do something of great value or importance. This could mean an opportunity to gain knowledge, experience, or success. The phrase is often used in an encouraging context, as someone may offer advice to take advantage of the opportunity. It can also be used to describe a situation that has everything needed for success and would be beneficial to take advantage of.

Example Sentences

  • "Don't pass up this golden opportunity to get ahead in your career!"
  • "Take advantage of the golden opportunity presented to you and see where it takes you."
  • "This is a golden opportunity to gain experience and make valuable connections."

The meanings of the words in the "golden opportunity" idiom

Beyond the Literal: Figurative Language in Idioms

Idioms often use figurative language to convey a message that is not meant to be taken literally. For instance, the idiom "bite the bullet" means to endure a painful or difficult situation without complaint, while "hold your horses" means to be patient and wait. Other idioms, like "kick the bucket" or "pop your clogs," use euphemisms to talk about death.


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