verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of silver
- 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
- a brilliant or light greyish-white colour
- (as adjective)silver hair
Word Origin 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.
n. Symbol Ag
In addition to the idiom beginning with silver
- silver lining
- born with a silver spoon
- cross someone's palm with silver
- hand to on a silver platter