: British money
: sterling silver or articles of it
: of, relating to, or calculated in terms of British sterling
: payable in sterling
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
: made of sterling silver
: conforming to the highest standard
a sterling record of achievement
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
NounThe sterling’s slump is in part a reflection of the strong U.S. dollar, which has been boosted by higher interest rates, but the pound has also dropped against the euro, indicating specific concerns about the British economy. —Karla Adam, Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2022 The paper explained that: The digital pound would be a new form of sterling … issued by the Bank of England. —Richard Werner, Fortune, 20 Mar. 2023 That strategy, fleshed out by Mr. Kwarteng on Sept. 23, sent the pound sterling plunging and raised borrowing costs for the government, a development that rippled through into the domestic housing loan market. —Stephen Castle, New York Times, 15 Oct. 2022 American visitors may remember the late 2000′s, when the exchange rate with the British pound was closing in on $2 — but the sterling hit an all-time low of $1.03 this week, following the government’s decision to enact sweeping tax cuts to spark economic growth. —Hamza Shaban, Washington Post, 30 Sep. 2022 In Asian trading early on Monday, the pound sterling hit an all-time low of $1.035 against the U.S. dollar. —John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 26 Sep. 2022 All currency in the UK, known as the pound sterling, features the queen's portrait on them, which will eventually be replaced with the king's portrait. —Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2022 Anticipation of her munificence has already helped push the pound sterling near a multidecade low against the dollar. —Gerard Baker, WSJ, 5 Sep. 2022 The couple’s musicians, florist, and stationery makers were based in the United Kingdom, so had to be paid in pound sterling, while Irish vendors were paid in Euros. —Kaitlin Menza, Condé Nast Traveler, 24 Aug. 2022
AdjectiveThis shop will sell women’s apparel, bags, small leather goods, accessories, shoes, belts, sunglasses, and sterling silver jewelry. —Maria Halkias, Dallas News, 14 May 2023 Junior Susan Radebaugh made 11 saves for the No. 2 Gators, who got sterling defensive play from a unit that graduated standouts such as All-Metro Player of the Year Madison Beale (Duke) and Olivia Rose (Stanford). —Rich Scherr, Baltimore Sun, 9 May 2023 Each is adorned with shagreen leather, sterling silver, and oak reclaimed from old Irish whiskey barrels. —Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 4 May 2023 Offered in 14-karat gold vermeil and sterling silver, this handcrafted ring features the Greek goddess of the moon surrounded by tiny star details. —Natalie Alcala, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Apr. 2023 Created by Lee and starring Wong and Yeun as antagonists in a road rage incident who carry their feud to depraved extremes, the dark comedy has garnered sterling reviews and will reportedly contend for the Emmys. —Avi Selk, Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2023 Girls Athlete of the Year: Keagan Rothrock, Roncalli The nation’s top high school softball player, Rothrock had a sterling junior season, going 28-0, with 382 strikeouts and eight no-hitters in leading the Royals to back-to-back state titles. —The Indianapolis Star, 21 Apr. 2023 Efira, a César-winning Belgian French actor of luminous presence and quietly limitless range, has been a sterling fixture of European cinema for years now. —Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2023 This is due to household products’ pure silver construction (sterling silver or silver-copper mixtures won’t wear as easily, but is more often seen in jewelry materials). —Kate Mcgregor, House Beautiful, 14 Apr. 2023 See More
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.
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
See Definitions and Examples »
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Words at Play
Palter, Dissemble, and Other Words for Lying
Skunk, Bayou, and Other Words with Native American Origins
You've used more than you might think
Words For Things You Didn't Know Have Names, Vol. 2
When 'thingamajig' and 'thingamabob' just won't do
When Were Words First Used?
Look up any year to find out
Ask the Editors
Name That Thing MegaQuiz: Vol. 5
Test your visual vocabulary!
Take the quiz
Match the Baby Animal to Its Mama
Prove you're the best of the nest.
Take the quiz
Name That Thing
You know what it looks like… but what is it cal...
Take the quiz
Spelling Bee Quiz
Can you outdo past winners of the National Spelli...
Take the quiz