1. Abbr. ster. or stg. British money, especially the pound as the basic unit of currency of the United Kingdom.
2. British coinage of silver or gold, having as a standard of fineness 0.500 for silver and 0.91666 for gold.
a. Sterling silver.
b. Articles, such as tableware, made of sterling silver.
1. Consisting of or relating to sterling or British money.
2. Made of sterling silver: a sterling teaspoon.
3. Of the highest quality: a person of sterling character.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.