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 In the years just before the killing, Jordan’s gambling habit had become public, tainting his sterling public image. Sopan Deb, New York Times, "The Death of James Jordan: What We Know," 10 May 2020 Royal Caribbean, for instance, last year delivered a sterling 17.1% margin. Larry Light, Fortune, "As bailout talk intensifies, cruise ship industry woes stand out in a travel sector battered by coronavirus," 17 Mar. 2020 Some sought out low mileage, straight body panels, and a sterling reputation in a hunt for reliability. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "Best Cheap Used Cars for Around $2000: Window Shop with Car and Driver," 21 Apr. 2020 The coronavirus crisis has killed more than 7,000 people at nursing homes across the country, The New York Times has determined, and has even ravaged facilities with sterling reputations. Robert Gebeloff, New York Times, "70 Died at a Nursing Home as Body Bags Piled Up. This Is What Went Wrong.," 19 Apr. 2020 To maintain our sterling reputation, the Academy has a strict dress code. Jordan Rau, The New Yorker, "Your Admission to Dad Private Academy for Boy," 7 Apr. 2020 Before the scandal broke, Wells Fargo was considered to have a sterling reputation among the big banks. Washington Post, "Wells Fargo to pay $3B to resolve probes into fake accounts," 22 Feb. 2020 Related Article The man taking on these challenges comes to the FDA with a sterling reputation in medicine and management, but with no previous government experience, unlike his predecessor Scott Gottlieb. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "No Shortage of Controversies for New FDA Commissioner," 29 Jan. 2020 VOD Clemency Chinonye Chukwu’s gripping movie, starring Alfre Woodard as a death-row prison warden, is a sterling piece of American realism, powered by the transfixing spectacle of a great actor at the peak of her powers. Los Angeles Times, "‘Straight Up’ and our critics’ 15 best choices to watch at home," 15 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This brutal story of the challenges of life for one man and his son in post-war Italy remains one of the most sterling examples. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "How Criterion Channel can give you the perfect film-school education in quarantine," 17 Apr. 2020 In the intervening years, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles denied him parole on seven occasions, despite his sterling disciplinary record. Pamela Colloff, ProPublica, "33 Years After Dubious Evidence Helped Convict Him, Joe Bryan Has Been Released on Parole," 31 Mar. 2020 The winner’s call was made of walnut, maple and African blackwood with inlayed sterling silver scrolling and filigree highlights. Colin Moore, Outdoor Life, "The 16 Most Awesome Turkey And Duck Calls You’ve Ever Seen," 19 Feb. 2020 Parker doesn't have the most sterling humanitarian reputation: In the movie The Social Network, Justin Timberlake portrayed him as a narcissistic party boy who screws over one of Facebook's cofounders and is arrested for cocaine possession. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Health," 1 Feb. 2020 The pilot, who by all accounts had a sterling safety record and was licensed to fly in inclement weather, kept going. Tim Arango, New York Times, "Flying Into Patchy Fog, Kobe Bryant’s Pilot Had a Decision to Make," 27 Jan. 2020 At one time, baby boomers may have loved hauling out their French rimmed soup plates and polishing their sterling salt-and-pepper shakers, but many of these accessories have moved into the aftermarket. Jura Koncius, Washington Post, "5 old-school table accessories get hip for the holidays," 13 Nov. 2019 The Super Bowl victories were made more memorable because the Giants in each case entered the postseason after a less than sterling regular season. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "Eli Manning Announces His Retirement," 22 Jan. 2020 For the championship tournament, Rothman was obliged to pay his own way to the match a hemisphere away and to pay his own match entry fee of 100 pounds sterling (about $130). Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, "World champ croquet player shows up in Oakland. Mobs do not materialize," 20 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for sterling

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sterling

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sterling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sterling. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for sterling

sterling

noun
How to pronounce sterling (audio)

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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