Meaning of SILVER in English


I. ˈsilvə(r) noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English seolfor; akin to Old High German silabar, silbar silver, Old Norse silfr, Gothic silubr; all from a prehistoric Germanic word borrowed from an Asiatic source

1. : a white metallic element that is sonorous, ductile, very malleable, capable of a high degree of polish, and chiefly univalent in compounds, that has the highest thermal and electric conductivity of any substance, that is found native and also combined (as in stephanite, argentite, proustite, pyrargyrite, cerargyrite), that is obtained as the main product and as a by-product in copper and lead smelting, that is one of the noble metals in view of its resistance to oxidation or corrosion except tarnishing by combination with sulfur, that is usually alloyed with copper to increase its hardness, and that is used for coinage, tableware, jewelry, plate, and a great variety of articles, in photography, in electrical contacts, and as a catalyst — symbol Ag ; see coin silver , element table

2. : silver as a commodity

the value of silver has risen

3. : coin made of silver : silver money : money

cross my palm with silver

customers … came now with cold hard silver — Nelson Algren

this I do for you and not for silver — Pearl Buck


a. : flatware used at table and made of a variety of materials including sterling or plated silver

her silver is of stainless steel

b. : hollow ware made of silver or other metal and usually used at table

5. : argent I 3


a. : something having the luster or appearance of silver: as

(1) : silver fox

(2) : silver salmon

b. : a nearly neutral slightly brownish medium gray — called also argent

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from silver (I)

1. : made of silver

polished silver candlesticks

2. : resembling silver: as

a. : having a white lustrous sheen : silvery in appearance

a land of silver rivers where the salmon leap — Holiday

balloons waved slowly … looking like huge fat silver sausages — Upton Sinclair

her silver head was held erect in spite of the years

b. : having or producing a clear resonant sound : dulcet in tone

the silver sound of the river over the pebbles — Winston Churchill

c. : eloquently persuasive

whose … silver tongue was heard in every movement of reform — Meridel Le Sueur

3. obsolete : sweetly gentle : peaceful


a. : argentiferous

b. : partly composed of silver

5. : of, relating to, or characteristic of silver

the silver legislation of 1873

silver wagons headed down from the mines

6. : of or relating to a silver age

great periods of golden and silver Latin — T.H.Savory

7. : advocating the adoption of silver as a standard of currency

8. : mounted, coated, or plated with silver

9. : argent 3


[so called from the practice during the construction of the Panama canal of paying skilled white labor in gold and unskilled colored labor in silver]

: of or for the Negro population in the Panama Canal Zone — compare gold 5

III. verb

( silvered ; silvered ; silvering -v(ə)riŋ ; silvers )

Etymology: Middle English silveren, from silver (I)

transitive verb


a. : to cover with silver (as by electroplating)

b. : to coat with a substance (as a metal) resembling silver

silver a glass with an amalgam of tin and mercury


a. : to give a silvery luster to

daylight fails and the moon silvers your way — Dorothy P. Richards

b. : to make white like silver

time had silvered her hair

intransitive verb

1. : to move like a stream of silver

2. : to acquire a silvery color

light silvered on windshields and fenders where cars were parked — Richard Llewellyn

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.