sterling

noun
ster·​ling | \ ˈstər-liŋ \

Definition of sterling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : British money
2 : sterling silver or articles of it

sterling

adjective

Definition of sterling (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or calculated in terms of British sterling
b : payable in sterling
2a of silver : having a fixed standard of purity usually defined legally as represented by an alloy of 925 parts of silver with 75 parts of copper
b : made of sterling silver
3 : conforming to the highest standard sterling character a sterling record of achievement

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Other Words from sterling

Adjective

sterlingly adverb
sterlingness noun

Examples of sterling in a Sentence

Noun

a drop in the value of sterling

Adjective

a sterling example of democracy at work credited the win to the pitcher's sterling performance on the mound
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This rose-gold-plated, sterling silver band is adorned with raw diamonds crafted by a Washington jewelry maker. Nia Martin, The Seattle Times, "Valentine’s Day gifts that celebrate your Seattle love," 4 Feb. 2019 The response from the away side was sterling, but as chances came on went - including a remarkable stop from Ubaldo Fillol with his boot - the Netherlands were getting that shrinking feeling of another loss in a World Cup final. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 10 Weeks to Go - When Hosts Argentina Edged the Netherlands In a Classic Final," 14 Apr. 2018 From Rihanna’s metallic mouth in Sydney to Kylie Jenner’s recent platinum-meets-sterling dye job and the bevy of glitter-eyed models storming the recent fashion runways consider the festive add-on the ultimate end-of-year accessory. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "10 Beauty Trends That Broke The Internet in 2018," 6 Dec. 2018 That was a different Yankee Stadium, but Jarlin Garcia, in his second major league start, delivered a sterling performance Tuesday reminiscent of Anibal Sanchez’s memorable win in June 2006. Craig Davis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Garcia stymies Yanks on 1 hit for 5 innings; Realmuto homers in 9-1 rout," 18 Apr. 2018 In the case of both the sterling flash crash and Thursday’s sudden yen surge, some market observers were quick to blame specific events for the moves. Mike Bird, WSJ, "The Twilight Trading Hour Strikes Currency Markets Again," 3 Jan. 2019 Beyond the bric-a-brac, take note of the eclectic, rustic furniture, mid-century sterling silver jewelry and vintage clothing scattered throughout. Lily Kupets, Vogue, "A Winter Weekend Destination You’ve Likely Overlooked: New Paltz, New York," 28 Dec. 2018 So Mercedes will have to stand out by living up to its sterling reputation for high quality all over again. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "The Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV’s best feature are its three USB-C ports," 4 Oct. 2018 Brett Kavanaugh has built a sterling reputation for himself over a long period of time. Fox News, "Coons: Kavanaugh hearing should be paused for investigation," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There have been sterling silver protractors, and tin cans, and even a greenhouse, as well as bone china to-go coffee cups in Tiffany blue. Reed Krakoff, Town & Country, "Tiffany & Co. Wants to Change the Rules of How to Wear a Diamond," 27 Nov. 2018 In particular, the parts set in the institution, the focus on daily existence in the place, the clamor, the tensions, the character of the guards, the favors available for a little bribery, all of it a sterling evocation of prison life. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘Escape at Dannemora’ Review: Prison Heartbreak," 15 Nov. 2018 To oversee its security, the DNC hired Raffi Krikorian and Bob Lord, two security officers with sterling Silicon Valley credentials. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 Valedictorian of her high school class and daughter of Iranian immigrants, Etami took several Advanced Placement classes and compiled a sterling grade-point average. Nick Anderson, Washington Post, "A shake-up in elite admissions: U-Chicago drops SAT/ACT testing requirement," 14 June 2018 An ugly beef with the rapper Pusha-T bruised his ego and damaged his sterling public reputation. Andy Hutchins, Time, "Scorpion Finds Drake Struggling to Keep It All Together," 29 June 2018 The Falcon Heavy booster gives SpaceX a powerful new tool in its competition with United Launch Alliance, which has a sterling reliability record but generally higher prices. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Air Force certifies Falcon Heavy, orders satellite launch for 2020," 21 June 2018 The Game is Now cost 54 pounds sterling and can be purchased at the escape room’s official website. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Official Sherlock escape room to open in London this fall," 5 June 2018 For reasons that have almost nothing to do with her leadership abilities and other sterling qualities, a President Clinton would have made a great 2018 midterm for her party extremely unlikely, and a debilitating defeat quite possible. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "What the Midterms Would Look Like If Clinton Had Won," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sterling.' 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 sterling

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sterling

Noun

Middle English, silver penny, probably from Old English *steorling, from Old English steorra star + -ling entry 1 — more at star

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Learn More about sterling

Statistics for sterling

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sterling

The first known use of sterling was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for sterling

sterling

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sterling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: silver that is 92 percent pure
: British money

sterling

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sterling (Entry 2 of 2)

: made of silver that is 92 percent pure
: very good

sterling

noun
ster·​ling | \ ˈstər-liŋ \

Kids Definition of sterling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : British money
2 : sterling silver : articles made from sterling silver

sterling

adjective

Kids Definition of sterling (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to British sterling
2 : being or made of a specific alloy that is mostly silver with a little copper sterling silver
3 : excellent a sterling example

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Comments on sterling

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