Webster 1913 Edition



, AS.
; akin to D.
, OS. & OHG.
, G.
, Sw. & Dan.
, Icel.
, Goth.
, and perh. to OHG.
to sound, G.
A silver coin, and money of account, of Great Britain and its dependencies, equal to twelve pence, or the twentieth part of a pound, equivalent to about twenty-four cents of the United States currency.
In the United States, a denomination of money, differing in value in different States. It is not now legally recognized.
☞ Many of the States while colonies had issued bills of credit which had depreciated in different degrees in the different colonies. Thus, in New England currency (used also in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida), after the adoption of the decimal system, the pound in paper money was worth only $3.333, and the shilling 16⅔ cts., or 6s. to $1; in New York currency (also in North Carolina, Ohio, and Michigan), the pound was worth $2.50, and the shilling 12½ cts., or 8s. to $1; in Pennsylvania currency (also in New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland), the pound was worth $2.70, and the shilling 13½ cts., or 7s. 6d. to $1; and in Georgia currency (also in South Carolina), the pound was worth $4.206⁄7, and the shilling 213⁄7 cts., or 4s 8d. to $1. In many parts of the country . . . the reckoning by shillings and pence is not yet entirely abandoned.
Am. Cyc. (1890)
The Spanish real, of the value of one eight of a dollar, or 12[GREEK] cets; – formerly so called in New York and some other States. See Note under 2.
York shilling
Same as
, 3.

Webster 1828 Edition



An English silver coin equal to twelve pence, or the twentieth part of a pound. The English shilling, or shilling sterling, is equivilent to nearly 22 cents, 22 hundredths, money of the United States. Our ancestors introduced the name with the coin into this country, but by depreciation the value of the shilling shrunk in New England and Virginia one fourth, or to a fraction less than 17 cents, in New York to 12 1/2 cents, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland to about 11 cents.
This denomination of money still subsists in the United States, although there is no coin of that value current, except the Spanish coin of 12 1/2/ cents, which is a shilling in the money in the state of New York. Since the adoption of the present coins of the United States, eagles, dollars, cents, &c. the use of the shilling is continued only by habit.

Definition 2022



See also: schilling


1955 British shilling coin


shilling (plural shillings)

  1. A coin formerly used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Australia, New Zealand and many other Commonwealth countries.
    The shilling was worth twelve old pence, or one twentieth of a pound sterling.
    • 1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger, chapter I:
      A great bargain also had been [] the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire. In fact, that arm-chair had been an extravagance of Mrs. Bunting. She had wanted her husband to be comfortable after the day's work was done, and she had paid thirty-seven shillings for the chair.
  2. The currency of Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda.
  3. (US, historical) A currency in the United States, differing in value between states.
  4. (US, historical, New York and some other states) The Spanish real, formerly having the value of one eighth of a dollar.
Usage notes
  • (in UK, etc): s. or s or / (solidus)
  • (in Kenya): Ksh; (in Somalia) So. Sh.; (in Tanzania) TSh; (in Uganda) UGS

In East Africa, the names of the currencies usually use the proper noun for the country, not its adjectival form: "Kenya shilling", "Tanzania shilling", etc. Amounts are written with a solidus, probably from the UK usage: "2/50" is 2 shillings, 50 cents (not pence); 30 shillings only is written "30/=".

See also
Derived terms

External links

Etymology 2

From shill.



  1. present participle of shill



shilling m (plural shillings)

  1. shilling (old UK coin)