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 package was to have contained a sterling silver diamond tennis bracelet valued at $305 shipped by Kohl's. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee man charged in UPS thefts at Elm Grove facility," 13 July 2018 Cohan often plays excerpts of these and other original compositions, scaled down to the instrumentation at hand, which this time will be a sterling quartet featuring saxophonist John Wojciechowski, bassist James Cammack and drummer George Fludas. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "From Bernstein to Broadway to Latin jazz," 12 July 2018 The pound sterling held steady after Davis’s announcement but slid after the Johnson resignation. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Boris Johnson and ‘Brexit minister’ resign, leaving Theresa May’s government in disarray," 9 July 2018 Country belter Cam’s fiery persona is backed up by her rich voice and sterling songwriting, which honors country’s past while taking the pro-woman lyrics of elders like Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton into the 21st century. Maura Johnston, BostonGlobe.com, "A mood-lifting performance from Sam Smith at TD Garden," 28 June 2018 The original Woodlawn Vase, a sterling silver trophy made by Tiffany in 1860 and valued at about $4 million, is owned by the Maryland Jockey Club and displayed in the Baltimore Museum of Art. Mike Klingaman, baltimoresun.com, "Owner's trophy for Native Dancer's 1953 Preakness win bought at auction by local developer," 8 June 2018 How could anything go wrong at a company with such a sterling board with, by the way, a lawyer who sat in on all the board meetings whose name was David Boies? Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: WSJ investigative journalist John Carreyrou on Recode Decode," 3 June 2018 If the Model 3 turns to be anything less than a sterling vehicle, the company’s problems could be unstoppable. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Tesla Starts Delivering Update to Improve Model 3 Braking Performance," 27 May 2018 Fox News reported earlier this year that the parent company, Comcast, hopes to replace Lack by the end of the year amid public relations debacles tarnishing the news division’s once-sterling reputation. Brian Flood, Fox News, "NBC News reportedly buried Joy Reid sex-bombshell saga involving Russell Simmons, AJ Calloway," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 But that’s not too long to enjoy David Walker’s French Baroque sets and costumes, or the lively contribution — in roles that range from peasants and nymphs to the fairies’ attendants and Désiré’s hunting party — of the company’s sterling corps. Jeffrey Gantz, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Ballet reawakens ‘Sleeping Beauty’," 12 May 2018 Despite a sterling world-wide reputation for dissecting aviation disasters, the NTSB lacks extensive experience looking into the complexities of autonomous systems controlling passenger vehicles. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Tesla, Safety Agency Feud Over Fatal-Crash Probe," 12 Apr. 2018 The pole cucumber is the thorn in the side of the cucumber’s otherwise sterling reputation. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "A Definitive Ranking of Grocery Store Cucumbers," 9 Apr. 2018 Custom order rainbow moonstone and amethyst pendant set in woven sterling silver; $280. Vanessa Infanzon, charlotteobserver, "CLT Made: Lapidify," 12 Mar. 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

5 Oct 2018

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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