Definition of sterling in English:

sterling

Line breaks: ster|ling
Pronunciation: /ˈstəːlɪŋ
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
1British money: prices in sterling are shown [as modifier]: issues of sterling bonds
More example sentences
  • Some of the Irish money was converted into sterling and is believed to have been smuggled back into the country, the sources said.
  • In the historiography of post-war Britain, the management of sterling as an international currency is often seen as an example of this dilemma.
  • But why are all prices charged in sterling on an Irish airline, even on flights between two eurozone countries?
2 short for sterling silver. [as modifier]: a sterling spoon

adjective

Back to top  
(Of a person or their work or qualities) excellent or valuable: this organization does sterling work for youngsters
More example sentences
  • He praised the sterling work of the Friends of St. Patrick's for their enormous contributions to the betterment of the life of patients and staff at the hospital.
  • A most wonderful lady of sterling qualities, she was deeply religious.
  • George was a most remarkable man of sterling qualities, a wonderful example to his family.
Synonyms
excellent, first-rate, first-class, exceptional, outstanding, splendid, superlative, of the first order, of the highest order, of the first water, magnificent, wonderful, fine, great, praiseworthy, laudable, admirable
informal A1, stellar, top-notch

Origin

Middle English: probably from steorra 'star' + -ling (because some early Norman pennies bore a small star). Until recently one popular theory was that the coin was originally made by Easterling moneyers (from the ‘eastern’ Hanse towns), but the stressed first syllable would not have been dropped.

More definitions of sterling

Definition of sterling in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day conspicuous
Pronunciation: kənˈspɪkjʊəs
adjective
clearly visible