Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Composed of silver.
  • adj. Resembling silver; silvery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Made of silver.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Made of silver.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Made of or resembling silver; having any characteristic of or analogy to silver: as, “speech is silvern, silence is golden.”

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. resembling or reminiscent of silver
  • adj. having the white lustrous sheen of silver

Etymologies

Middle English, alteration (influenced by silver, silver) of Old English silfren, from siolfor; see silver.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
silver + -(e)n ("made of…") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • One of the few rational things I have met with, Eleanor, in the works of your very objectionable pet Mr. Carlyle -- though indeed his style is too intolerable to have allowed me to read much -- is the remark that 'speech is silver' -- 'silvern' he calls it, pedantically -- 'while silence is golden.'"

    Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet An Autobiography

  • In the night, the sea colored, I had a split silvern mermaid tail beneath the sea blue in waves' crests and in foam.

    Susanne Jorn

  • At the upper end rose a throne of gold whereon sat a damsel, whose face was like the moon, arrayed in royal raiment and beautified as she were a bride on the night of her displaying; and at the foot of the throne was a table of forty trays spread with golden and silvern dishes full of dainty viands.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King that quoth the slave-girl, “Bring us meat and drink for three dinars, furthermore a piece of silk, the size of a curtain, and bring golden and silvern thread and sewing silk of seven colours.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • She was clad in brocades befitting Kings; her breasts were like twin pomegranates, a woven zone set with all kinds of jewels tightly clasped her waist which expanded below into jutting hips; and her hinder cheeks stood out as a mound of crystal185 supporting a silvern shaft.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Then Ibrahim fared forward and found all as it had been described by the Gobbo: he also saw the garden-gate open, and in the porch a couch of ivory, whereon sat a hump backed man of pleasant presence, clad in gold-laced clothes and hending in hand a silvern mace plated with gold.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Now it fortuned, by the ordinance of Destiny and fore-ordained Fate, that the King had two stallions, own brothers,551 such as the Chosroe Kings might sigh in vain to possess themselves of one of them; they were called Sábik and Láhik552 and one of them was pure silvern white while the other was black as the darksome night.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Round the pavilion ran a channel of water, turning a Persian wheel317 whose buckets 318 were silvern covered with brocade.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • A marvellous scent rose from her silvern raiment as she moved, and beauty was wafted from her eyes.

    Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

  • For it is only by being convinced of the truth and importance of our thoughts that there arises in us the inspiration necessary for the inexhaustible patience to discover the clearest, finest, and most powerful expression for them; just as one puts holy relics or priceless works of art in silvern or golden receptacles.

    Essays of Schopenhauer

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Comments

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  • Maybe he saw a wyvern in the sylvern garden.

    September 12, 2009

  • He agreed grimly: "Yes, it's been a day," and looked over his shoulder at the quiet silvern garden, and shivered.

    - Rebecca West, The Judge

    September 12, 2009