What does Sterling mean?

Definitions for Sterling
ˈstɜr lɪŋster·ling

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Sterling.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sterlingadjective

    British money; especially the pound sterling as the basic monetary unit of the UK

  2. greatest, sterling(a), superlativeadjective

    highest in quality


  1. sterlingnoun

    the currency of the United Kingdom; especially the pound

  2. sterlingnoun

    former British gold or silver coinage of a standard fineness: for gold 0.91666 and for silver 0.925.

  3. sterlingnoun

    sterling silver, or articles made from this material

  4. sterlingadjective

    of, or relating to British currency, or the former British coinage

  5. sterlingadjective

    of, relating to, or made from sterling silver

  6. sterlingadjective

    high quality

  7. Sterlingnoun

    A Scottish surname, variant of Stirling.

  8. Sterlingnoun

    An English surname, thought to be a variant of Starling.

  9. Sterlingnoun

    transferred from the surnames.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Sterlingadjective

    Etymology: Of this word many derivations have been offered; the most probable of which is that offered by William Camden, who derives it from the Easterlings, who were employed as coiners.

    The king’s treasure of store, that he left at his death, amounted unto eighteen hundred thousand pounds sterling. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    Several of them would rather chuse to count out a sum in sesterces than in pounds sterling. Addison.

    There is not one single witty phrase in this collection, which hath not received the stamp and approbation of one hundred years: he may therefore be secure to find them all genuine, sterling, and authentick. Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation.

  2. Sterlingnoun

    Etymology: sterlingum, low Lat. from the adjective.

    This visionary various projects tries,
    And knows that to be rich is to be wise:
    By useful observation he can tell
    The sacred charms that in true sterling dwell;
    How gold makes a patrician of a slave,
    A dwarf an Atlas, a Thersites brave. Samuel Garth.

    Great name, which in our rolls recorded stands,
    Leads honours, and protects the learned bands,
    Accept this offering to thy bounty due,
    And Roman wealth in English sterling view. Charles Arbuthnot.


  1. sterling

    Sterling refers to British currency, particularly the Pound Sterling, which is the official currency of the United Kingdom. The term can also refer to sterling silver, which is a high-quality alloy made of 92.5% silver by weight, commonly used in luxury items and fine dining accessories. Furthermore, 'sterling' can also be used as an adjective to describe something as being excellent or extremely valuable.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sterlingnoun

    same as Starling, 3

  2. Sterlingnoun

    any English coin of standard value; coined money

  3. Sterlingnoun

    a certain standard of quality or value for money

  4. Sterlingadjective

    belonging to, or relating to, the standard British money of account, or the British coinage; as, a pound sterling; a shilling sterling; a penny sterling; -- now chiefly applied to the lawful money of England; but sterling cost, sterling value, are used

  5. Sterlingadjective

    genuine; pure; of excellent quality; conforming to the highest standard; of full value; as, a work of sterling merit; a man of sterling good sense

  6. Etymology: [OE. sterlynge, starling, for easterling, LL. esterlingus, probably from Easterling, once the popular name of German trades in England, whose money was of the purest quality: cf. MHG. sterlink a certain coin. Cf. East. Certain merchants of Norwaie, Denmarke, and of others those parties, called Ostomanni, or (as in our vulgar language we tearme them), easterlings, because they lie east in respect of us. Holinshed. In the time of . . . King Richard the First, monie coined in the east parts of Germanie began to be of especiall request in England for the puritie thereof, and was called Easterling monie, as all inhabitants of those parts were called Easterlings, and shortly after some of that countrie, skillful in mint matters and allaies, were sent for into this realme to bring the coine to perfection; which since that time was called of them sterling, for Easterling. Camden. Four thousand pound of sterlings. R. of Gloucester.]


  1. Sterling

    Sterling, Virginia is a census-designated place in Loudoun County, Virginia. The population as of the 2010 Census was 27,822. It is located northwest of Herndon, east of Ashburn, and west of Great Falls, and includes part of Dulles International Airport and the former AOL corporate headquarters. Sterling is also home to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, as well as the Sterling Field Support Center, the National Weather Service test, research, and evaluation center for weather instruments.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sterling

    stėr′ling, adj. a designation of British money—pure, genuine, of good quality—also generally, of value or excellence, authoritative. [Orig. the name of a penny; prob. from the Hanse merchants or Easterlings ('men from the east'), from North Germany, who had probably the privilege of coining money in England in the 13th century.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Sterling is ranked #1362 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Sterling surname appeared 25,894 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 9 would have the surname Sterling.

    63.6% or 16,471 total occurrences were White.
    28.4% or 7,377 total occurrences were Black.
    4.3% or 1,126 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.3% or 616 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.6% or 179 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.4% or 127 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Sterling' in Nouns Frequency: #2158

How to pronounce Sterling?

How to say Sterling in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Sterling in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Sterling in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of Sterling in a Sentence

  1. Ray Attrill:

    Nothing has happened in the last 24 hours to dissuade us from the view that we are headed in the direction of an Article 50 delay, a softer Brexit or no Brexit, but it remains too soon to be buying sterling with your ears pinned back.

  2. Sterling Burnett:

    I thought this was really innovative, if Sterling Burnett wants to buy up these coal mines and coal companies and package coal to power plants with trees to suck up carbon emissions, and this helps save the coal companies, then Sterling Burnett has made a real positive contribution.

  3. Petr Krpata:

    It is good to see sterling reacting to positive data, but given all the risks surrounding Brexit, we feel any rise in the pound is a good opportunity to establish fresh short positions.

  4. Dana Boente:

    For his own vindictive purposes, Jeffrey Sterling carelessly disclosed extremely valuable, highly classified information that he had taken an oath to keep secret.

  5. Ian Williams:

    Sterling up and FTSE up does suggest that there's a slight sigh of relief generally, (The UK) is quite defensive, so in trade war times when industrials and tech are getting clobbered, that's not so much of problem for the UK because those sectors are not as big in weighting terms as they are for the Euro zone or the U.S..

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Sterling

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"Sterling." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Sterling>.

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    the transparent covering of an aircraft cockpit
    A concoction
    B canopy
    C breastwork
    D serendipity

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