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[ses-turs] /ˈsɛs tɜrs/
a silver coin of ancient Rome, the quarter of a denarius, equal to 2½ asses: introduced in the 3rd century b.c.
Origin of sesterce
1590-1600; < Latin sēstertius, equivalent to sēs- half-unit (see sesqui-) + tertius third (i.e., 2 units and half a 3rd one equal 2½ asses) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sesterce
Historical Examples
  • A sesterce is four and one-half cents so that the possible price of a peach in Rome 1900 years ago was $1.35.

    The Peaches of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • "You will never get a sesterce of Cornelia's dowry," he declared.

    A Friend of Caesar William Stearns Davis
  • And the fourth part of it, consisting of two asses and half of a third, they called "sesterce."

  • But since I have won every sesterce he owns I must needs pay for his board.

    A Friend of Caesar William Stearns Davis
  • Once let the mob overtake them, and the lives of all three were not worth a sesterce.

    A Friend of Caesar William Stearns Davis
British Dictionary definitions for sesterce


a silver or, later, bronze coin of ancient Rome worth a quarter of a denarius
Word Origin
C16: from Latin sēstertius a coin worth two and a half asses, from sēmis half + tertius a third
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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