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

His overall whiff rate in two-strike counts is up to a sterling 20.6%. Michael Beller, SI.com, "No Longer as Predictable, Kyle Hendricks Has Become a Strikeout Threat Again," 8 June 2019 Any further hit to sterling would also diminish returns for American investors, who own more than one-third of the bank. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Big Dividends Close Door on Battered Bank’s Desperate Decade," 15 Feb. 2019 Offering stud earrings and a necklace with a pendant in sterling silver, 14 karat gold, or brass, prices range from $40 to $380. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Ada Chen Is the Asian Artist Turning Stereotypes About Chinese Americans Into Jewelry," 27 May 2019 The governor especially unloaded on the New York Times, which has its own sterling history of extorting tax breaks and zoning exceptions from the city and state. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Amazon Fiasco Splits New York’s Left," 17 Feb. 2019 Many preferred one of the candidates who had worked outside of Washington, despite their less sterling resumes. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Brett Kavanaugh, a Washington veteran, is Trump's second pick for the Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 City of Brookfield's financing of a conference center at the struggling Brookfield Square Mall tarnished its sterling bond rating, a move that means the municipality is at higher risk of paying more for debt service in the years to come. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "City of Brookfield approves conference center financing, but loses sterling bond rating in the process," 20 June 2018 The New York Times in publishing is a sterling example. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "'Old Codger' Adobe Pulls Off Rare Tech Transformation," 15 June 2018 Designed with 24-karat gold plated sterling silver, the shapes mimic those of Bourgeois’s hanging fabric sculptures. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Simone Rocha Shows Her Love For Louise Bourgeois (Again) With a New Jewelry Collaboration," 30 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

15 Jun 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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