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[sil-ver] /ˈsɪl vər/
Chemistry. a white, ductile metallic element, used for making mirrors, coins, ornaments, table utensils, photographic chemicals, conductors, etc. Symbol: Ag; atomic weight: 107.870; atomic number: 47; specific gravity: 10.5 at 20°C.
coin made of this metal; specie; money:
a handful of silver.
this metal as a commodity or considered as a currency standard.
table articles made of or plated with silver, including flatware and hollowware.
any flatware:
The kitchen silver is of stainless steel.
something resembling this metal in color, luster, etc.
a lustrous grayish white or whitish gray, or the color of the metal:
the silver of the leaves.
any of the silver halides used for photographic purposes, as silver bromide, silver chloride, or silver iodide.
consisting of, made of, or plated with silver.
of or relating to silver.
producing or yielding silver.
resembling silver; silvery:
the silver moon.
clear and soft:
silver sounds.
eloquent; persuasive:
a silver tongue.
urging the use of silver as a currency standard:
silver economists.
indicating the twenty-fifth event of a series, as a wedding anniversary.
having the color silver:
a silver dress.
verb (used with object)
to coat with silver or some silverlike substance.
to give a silvery color to.
verb (used without object)
to become a silvery color.
Origin of silver
before 900; (noun and adj.) Middle English silver(e), selver(e), selfer, Old English siolfor (orig. noun); cognate with German Silber, Old Norse silfr, Gothic silubr, akin to Serbo-Croatian srèbro, Russian serebró, Lithuanian sidãbras; (v.) late Middle English silveren, derivative of the noun
Related forms
silverer, noun
silverish, adjective
silverless, adjective
silverlike, adjective
silverness, noun
nonsilver, noun, adjective
resilver, verb (used with object)


[sil-ver] /ˈsɪl vər/
Abba Hillel
[ab-uh] /ˈæb ə/ (Show IPA),
1893–1963, U.S. rabbi, born in Lithuania. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for silver
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The walls are hung with blue Florentine silk, embossed in silver.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • The writer further says the metal was made from silver coins.

  • The walls were done in white with a faint blue and silver stripe.

  • "He shall have four silver candlesticks," said the seneschal moodily.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • To save her cap she had taken it off, and early streaks of silver showed in her hair.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
British Dictionary definitions for silver


  1. a very ductile malleable brilliant greyish-white element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. It occurs free and in argentite and other ores: used in jewellery, tableware, coinage, electrical contacts, and in electroplating. Its compounds are used in photography. Symbol: Ag; atomic no: 47; atomic wt: 107.8682; valency: 1 or 2; relative density: 10.50; melting pt: 961.93°C; boiling pt: 2163°C
  2. (as modifier): a silver coin, related adjective argent
coin made of, or having the appearance of, this metal
cutlery, whether made of silver or not
any household articles made of silver
(photog) any of a number of silver compounds used either as photosensitive substances in emulsions or as sensitizers
  1. a brilliant or light greyish-white colour
  2. (as adjective): silver hair
short for silver medal
well-articulated: silver speech
(prenominal) denoting the 25th in a series, esp an annual series: a silver wedding anniversary
(transitive) to coat with silver or a silvery substance: to silver a spoon
to become or cause to become silvery in colour
to become or cause to become elderly
Derived Forms
silverer, noun
silvering, noun
Word Origin
Old English siolfor; related to Old Norse silfr, Gothic silubr, Old High German silabar, Old Slavonic sirebro
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for silver

Old English seolfor, Mercian sylfur "silver; money," from Proto-Germanic *silubra- (cf. Old Saxon silvbar, Old Frisian selover, Old Norse silfr, Middle Dutch silver, Dutch zilver, Old High German silabar, German silber "silver; money," Gothic silubr "silver"), from a common Germanic/Balto-Slavic term (cf. Old Church Slavonic s(u)rebo, Russian serebro, Polish srebro, Lithuanian sidabras "silver") of uncertain relationship and origin. According to Klein's sources, possibly from a language of Asia Minor, perhaps from Akkadian sarpu "silver," literally "refined silver," related to sarapu "to refine, smelt."

As an adjective from late Old English (cf. silvern). As a color name from late 15c. Of voices, words, etc., from 1520s in reference to the metal's pleasing resonance; silver-tongued is from 1590s. The silver age (1560s) was a phrase used by Greek and Roman poets. Chemical abbreviation Ag is from Latin argentum "silver," from the usual PIE word for the metal (see argent), which is missing in Germanic.


"to cover or plate with silver," mid-15c., from silver (n.). Meaning "to tinge with gray" (of hair) is from c.1600. Related: Silvered; silvering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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silver in Medicine

silver sil·ver (sĭl'vər)
Symbol Ag
A lustrous ductile malleable metallic element having the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of the metals and used in dental alloys. Atomic number 47; atomic weight 107.868; melting point 961.8°C; boiling point 2,162°C; specific gravity 10.50; valence 1, 2.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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silver in Science
Symbol Ag
A soft, shiny, white metallic element that is found in many ores, especially together with copper, lead, and zinc. It conducts heat and electricity better than any other metal. Silver is used in photography and in making electrical circuits and conductors. Atomic number 47; atomic weight 107.868; melting point 960.8°C; boiling point 2,212°C; specific gravity 10.50; valence 1, 2. See also sterling silver. See Periodic Table. See Note at element.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for silver



Money: silver under the mattress

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with silver


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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