follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

sterling

[stur-ling] /ˈstɜr lɪŋ/
adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, or noting British money:
The sterling equivalent is #5.50.
2.
(of silver) having the standard fineness of 0.925.
3.
made of silver of this fineness:
a sterling teapot.
4.
thoroughly excellent:
a man of sterling worth.
noun
5.
British currency.
6.
the standard of fineness for gold and silver coin in the United Kingdom, 0.91666 for gold and 0.500 for silver.
7.
Also called sterling silver. silver having a fineness of 0.925, now used especially in the manufacture of table utensils, jewelry, etc.
8.
manufactured articles of sterling silver.
9.
sterling flatware.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English: name of a silver coin (see star, -ling1), with reference to the little star on some of the mintages
Related forms
sterlingly, adverb
sterlingness, noun
Synonyms
4. noble, honorable, worthy, first-rate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for sterling-silver

sterling

/ˈstɜːlɪŋ/
noun
1.
  1. British money: pound sterling
  2. (as modifier): sterling reserves
2.
the official standard of fineness of British coins: for gold 0.91666 and for silver 0.925
3.
  1. short for sterling silver
  2. (as modifier): a sterling bracelet
4.
an article or articles manufactured from sterling silver
5.
a former British silver penny
adjective
6.
(prenominal) genuine and reliable; first-class: sterling quality
Word Origin
C13: probably from Old English steorrastar + -ling1; referring to a small star on early Norman pennies; related to Old French esterlin

Sterling

/ˈstɜːlɪŋ/
noun
1.
Peter. born 1960, Australian rugby league player: played 18 matches for Australia (1982–88)
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sterling-silver

sterling

c.1300, "silver penny," probably from Middle English sterre (see star (n.)), from the stars that appeared in the design of certain Norman coins, + diminutive suffix -ling. The other theory is that it derives from Old French estedre "stater" (see stater).

Sense broadened by 1560s to "money having the quality of the sterling," and c.1600 to "English money in general." A pound sterling was originally "a pound weight of sterlings," equal to about 240 of them.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for sterling-silver

Sterling

city, seat (1887) of Logan county, northeastern Colorado, U.S. It lies along the South Platte River at an elevation of 3,950 feet (1,204 metres). Laid out after the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1881, it was named after a town in Illinois. Now an important railroad division point, it is a marketing and shipping centre for an irrigated area supporting cattle, sugar beets, grain (wheat and corn [maize]), and dairy products. In 1950 oil was discovered in the surrounding Denver-Julesburg Basin, and Sterling became the headquarters for much of the related oil and natural-gas activities. The city's other industries include sugar refining, meat processing, and the manufacture of steel tanks, cinder blocks, and concrete. Sterling is the seat of Northeastern Junior College (1941). The Pawnee National Grassland is northeast. Inc. 1884. Pop. (1990) 10,362; (2000) 11,360

Learn more about Sterling with a free trial on Britannica.com

sterling

the standard of purity for silver. The term sterling silver denotes any silver alloy in which pure silver makes up at least 92.5 percent of the content.

Learn more about sterling with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sterling

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sterling

9
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with sterling-silver