sterling

noun
ster·​ling | \ ˈstər-liŋ How to pronounce sterling (audio) \

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

Following sterling presentations at both Comic-Con and D23, fans are finally getting a taste for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after events of Avengers: Endgame. Rosie Knight, The Hollywood Reporter, "Who Will Be in Marvel's Next Avengers Team?," 31 Aug. 2019 While everyone aimed for the sky, Trout beat balls into the dirt, robbing him of the kind of sterling power numbers that would’ve made this a truly world-class season. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Ranking Mike Trout's Eight Seasons From Great to Greatest," 27 Aug. 2019 The unexpected victory of the Leave campaign in the Brexit referendum meant sterling lost 7% in a single day. The Economist, "The pound’s slide is about more than Brexit," 20 July 2019 With Turquoise Beads A sterling silver chain and turquoise bead bar make this dainty necklace a standout piece. Amanda Randone, refinery29.com, "Amazon Prime Day Just Got A Whole Lot Shinier With These Jewelry Steals," 15 July 2019 While every situation is different, these are the kind of days in which eras pivot. Tentacles from these three tidbits of news, and what happens next, will underline the remainder of their sterling careers. Conor Orr, SI.com, "Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning Showing Their Mortality as Quarterbacks," 16 Sep. 2019 In other words: Week Three was a sterling opportunity for the conference to showcase its product on media outlets that reach 80+ million viewers. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Saturday Night Five: USC stumbles, UCLA rolls over (again), ASU goes bowling (trust us) and has anybody seen Stanford," 15 Sep. 2019 In other words: Week 3 was a sterling opportunity for the conference to showcase its product on media outlets that reach 80+ million viewers. Jon Wilner, The Denver Post, "Pac-12 football rewind: USC stumbles, UCLA rolls over (again), ASU goes bowling (trust us) and has anybody seen Stanford," 15 Sep. 2019 Jada attends Newton South, a sterling suburban high school that routinely sends graduates to the country’s elite universities. BostonGlobe.com, "ada Pierre is tiny, her ambition drawn taut as a bowstring. The 16-year-old daughter of Haitian immigrants wears her hair in a small bun atop her head, her emerging political consciousness finding its voice in the bevy of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo stickers she’s pasted to her MacBook.," 15 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Sterns was included on both the Nagurski and Thorpe preseason watch lists, just rewards for a sterling freshman campaign. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Texas-LSU a battle of DBUs," 5 Sep. 2019 Frequent finds include sterling silver tea sets/service pieces, original artwork, pottery, first edition books and specific furniture styles such as Federalist or Stickley. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Letting go of things: Downsizing can be easier than you think," 16 Aug. 2019 His relentless efforts to portray the disasters as just a blip in Boeing’s sterling safety record suggest a man eager to get back to business as usual. The Economist, "Boeing’s boss wins a reprieve, not redemption," 21 June 2019 Once or twice, in the course of this sterling drama, there comes a reminder, like an elbow shove, that even in the best written works the impossibly absurd—the undermining moment—may intrude. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘Das Boot’ Review: By Land or by Sea," 13 June 2019 In the sterling cash market SONIA floating-rate notes made up over three-quarters of the total in the first quarter. The Economist, "LIBOR is due to die in 2021. Hurry up and drop it, say regulators," 8 June 2019 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

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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Statistics for sterling

Last Updated

19 Oct 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 How to pronounce sterling (audio) \

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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