Definition of sterling noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈstɜːlɪŋ//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈstɜːrlɪŋ//
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[uncountable] the money system of Britain, based on the pound the value of sterling You can be paid in pounds sterling or American dollars. 50 pounds sterling Word OriginMiddle English: probably from steorra ‘star’ + -ling (because some early Norman coins 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 Until recently one popular theory was that the coin was originally made by Easterling moneyers (from the “eastern” Hanse towns), but the stressed first syllable would not have been dropped.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sterling