Definitions

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

  • n. British money, especially the pound as the basic monetary unit of the United Kingdom.
  • n. British coinage of silver or gold, having as a standard of fineness 0.500 for silver and 0.91666 for gold.
  • n. Sterling silver.
  • n. Articles, such as tableware, made of sterling silver.
  • adj. Consisting of or relating to sterling or British money.
  • adj. Made of sterling silver: a sterling teaspoon.
  • adj. Of the highest quality: a person of sterling character.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the currency of the United Kingdom; especially the pound
  • n. former British gold or silver coinage of a standard fineness: for gold 0.91666 and for silver 0.925.
  • n. sterling silver, or articles made from this material
  • n. A structure of pilings that protects the piers of a bridge; a starling.
  • adj. of, or relating to British currency, or the former British coinage
  • adj. of, relating to, or made from sterling silver
  • adj. high quality

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Belonging to, or relating to, the standard British money of account, or the British coinage
  • adj. Genuine; pure; of excellent quality; conforming to the highest standard; of full value.
  • n. Same as starling, 3.
  • n. Any English coin of standard value; coined money.
  • n. A certain standard of quality or value for money.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A silver coin struck by English (and Scottish) kings from the time of Richard I. (1190).
  • n. English money.
  • Of fixed or standard national value; conforming to the national standard of value: said of English money, and, by extension, of the precious metals: as, a pound sterling; a shilling sterling. Abbreviated ster., stg.
  • Of acknowledged worth or influence; authoritative.
  • Genuine; true; pure; hence, of great value or excellence.
  • n. An obsolete form of starling.
  • n. See starling.

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

  • n. British money; especially the pound sterling as the basic monetary unit of the UK
  • adj. highest in quality

Etymologies

Middle English, silver penny : possibly sterre, star; see star + -ling, diminutive suff. (from the small star stamped on the coin); see -ling1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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  • to honor my sterling reputation (RME)

    September 15, 2007