[ sil-ver ]
See synonyms for silver on
  1. 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.

  2. coin made of this metal; specie; money: a handful of silver.

  1. this metal as a commodity or considered as a currency standard.

  2. table articles made of or plated with silver, including flatware and hollowware.

  3. any flatware: The kitchen silver is of stainless steel.

  4. something resembling this metal in color, luster, etc.

  5. a lustrous grayish white or whitish gray, or the color of the metal: the silver of the leaves.

  6. any of the silver halides used for photographic purposes, as silver bromide, silver chloride, or silver iodide.

  1. consisting of, made of, or plated with silver.

  2. of or relating to silver.

  1. producing or yielding silver.

  2. resembling silver; silvery: the silver moon.

  3. clear and soft: silver sounds.

  4. eloquent; persuasive: a silver tongue.

  5. urging the use of silver as a currency standard: silver economists.

  6. indicating the twenty-fifth event of a series, as a wedding anniversary.

  7. having the color silver: a silver dress.

verb (used with object)
  1. to coat with silver or some silverlike substance.

  2. to give a silvery color to.

verb (used without object)
  1. to become a silvery color.

Origin of silver

First recorded before 900; Middle English (noun and adjective) silver(e), selver(e), selfer, Old English siolfor (originally a noun); cognate with German Silber, Old Norse silfr, Gothic silubr, akin to Serbo-Croatian srèbro, Russian serebró, Lithuanian sidãbras

Other words from silver

  • sil·ver·er, noun
  • sil·ver·ish, adjective
  • sil·ver·less, adjective
  • sil·ver·like, adjective
  • sil·ver·ness, noun
  • non·sil·ver, noun, adjective
  • re·sil·ver, verb (used with object)

Words Nearby silver

Other definitions for Silver (2 of 2)

[ sil-ver ]

  1. Ab·ba Hillel [ab-uh], /ˈæb ə/, 1893–1963, U.S. rabbi, born in Lithuania. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use silver in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for silver


/ (ˈsɪlvə) /

    • 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

    • (as modifier): a silver coin Related adjective: argent

  1. coin made of, or having the appearance of, this metal

  1. cutlery, whether made of silver or not

  2. any household articles made of silver

  3. photog any of a number of silver compounds used either as photosensitive substances in emulsions or as sensitizers

    • a brilliant or light greyish-white colour

    • (as adjective): silver hair

  4. short for silver medal

  1. well-articulated: silver speech

  2. (prenominal) denoting the 25th in a series, esp an annual series: a silver wedding anniversary

  1. (tr) to coat with silver or a silvery substance: to silver a spoon

  2. to become or cause to become silvery in colour

  1. to become or cause to become elderly

Origin of silver

Old English siolfor; related to Old Norse silfr, Gothic silubr, Old High German silabar, Old Slavonic sirebro

Derived forms of silver

  • silverer, noun
  • silvering, noun

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

Scientific definitions for silver


[ sĭlvər ]

  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with silver


In addition to the idiom beginning with silver

  • silver lining

also see:

  • born with a silver spoon
  • cross someone's palm with silver
  • hand to on a silver platter

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.