shil·​ling | \ ˈshi-liŋ How to pronounce shilling (audio) \

Definition of shilling

1a : a former monetary unit of the United Kingdom equal to 12 pence or ¹/₂₀ pound
b : a former monetary unit equal to ¹/₂₀ pound of any of various countries in or formerly in the Commonwealth of Nations
2 : a coin representing one shilling
3 : any of several early American coins
4 the basic monetary unit of Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda — see Money Table

Examples of shilling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Government figures say that in 2018 the average minimum wage in big cities was 19,831 Kenyan shillings, about $186 today. Tom Simonite, Wired, 19 May 2020 Third day of planting; sold four bushels of grain—x shillings; quarreled with brother. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 10 Apr. 2020 Balala said the government has allocated 500 million Kenyan shillings ($4.8 million) for public relations and marketing post-coronavirus. Bukola Adebayo, CNN, 16 Mar. 2020 In preparation for the potential blow that coronavirus may wreak Kenya’s government has committed 500 million Kenyan shilling ($5 million) for a post-coronavirus public relations campaign. Alexandria Williams, Quartz Africa, 13 Mar. 2020 Into his 20s, the prince is said to have received feudal dues of 100 silver shillings and a pound of peppercorns from the mayor of Launceston in Cornwall. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, 27 Jan. 2020 Six men armed with machetes and guns stole cellphones and roughly 100,000 Kenyan shillings — about $1,000 — from Jane’s house. Ken Budd, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2019 In Kenya, Oppo has hinged itself on its brand new Reno 2 that retails at 47, 000 Kenyan shillings (~$470) which targets the middle class. Alexandria Williams, Quartz Africa, 12 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shilling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shilling

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shilling

Middle English, from Old English scilling; akin to Old High German skilling, a gold coin

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The first known use of shilling was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Shilling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of shilling

: a British coin used before 1971 that was equal to ¹/₂₀ of a British pound
: the basic unit of money in Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda


shil·​ling | \ ˈshi-liŋ How to pronounce shilling (audio) \

Kids Definition of shilling

: an old British coin equal to ¹/₂₀ pound

More from Merriam-Webster on shilling

Nglish: Translation of shilling for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about shilling


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