sterling

1 of 2

noun

ster·​ling ˈstər-liŋ How to pronounce sterling (audio)
1
: British money
2
: sterling silver or articles of it

sterling

2 of 2

adjective

1
a
: of, relating to, or calculated in terms of British sterling
b
: payable in sterling
2
a
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
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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Damaged gilds the lily, casting-wise, with John Hannah, delivering sterling supporting work as a chief suspect whose alibi would seem to clear him. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Apr. 2024 Nuveen Preferred & Income Opportunities Fund (JPC) Distribution Rate: 8.0% FPE might have a high-quality portfolio, but the Nuveen Preferred & Income Opportunities (JPC) is downright sterling. Brett Owens, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2024
Adjective
Missouri Tigers men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates has put a bow on his program’s sterling class of incoming recruits for the 2024-25 season. The Kansas City Star, Kansas City Star, 3 June 2024 The jobs can require the aplomb of a diplomat and sterling scholarship, as well as the talents to raise money from demanding alumni, manage exacting faculty members and connect with maturing students — all while conjuring a spirited enthusiasm for football. Stephanie Saul, New York Times, 22 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for sterling 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sterling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sterling

Cite this Entry

“Sterling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sterling. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

sterling

1 of 2 noun
ster·​ling ˈstər-liŋ How to pronounce sterling (audio)
1
: British money
2
: sterling silver or articles of it

sterling

2 of 2 adjective
1
: of or relating to British sterling
2
: being or made of an alloy of 925 parts of silver with 75 parts of copper
sterling silver
3
Etymology

Noun

so called from the phrase "a pound sterling," meaning the British pound as a monetary unit, but originally "a pound (by weight) of sterlings," from Middle English sterling "silver penny"

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