[bil-uh n]
  1. an alloy used in coinage, consisting of gold or silver with a larger amount of base metal.
  2. an alloy of silver with copper or the like, used for coins of small denomination.
  3. any coin struck from such an alloy.

Origin of billon

1720–30; < French: debased metal, orig. ingot, equivalent to Middle French bille log (see billet2) + -on noun suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for billon

Historical Examples of billon

British Dictionary definitions for billon


  1. an alloy consisting of gold or silver and a base metal, usually copper, used esp for coinage
  2. any coin made of such an alloy

Word Origin for billon

C18: from Old French: ingot, from bille log; see billet ²
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