General English

General Science

  • noun a white metallic element which is not corroded by exposure to air


  • noun a precious metal traded on commodity markets such as the London Metal Exchange


  • A lustrous white metallic chemical element whose atomic number is 47. Silver is soft, extremely ductile and malleable, and is the best conductor of heat and electricity among the elements. It has over 35 known isotopes of which 2 are stable, is not chemically active, and does not oxidize in air, but does tarnish due to reactions with atmospheric sulfur compounds. Its applications in electronics are many, including its use in electric contacts and conductors, electrical components, plating, and batteries. Its chemical symbol, Ag, is taken from the Latin word for silver: argentum.
  • chemical symbolAg


  • E174, a precious metal sometimes used in very thin films as a food decoration


  • noun coins made of light grey metal

Origin & History of “silver”

The word silver probably originated in Asia minor. Its unidentified source word was borrowed into prehistoric Germanic as *silubr-, which has evolved into German silber, Dutch zilver, Danish sølf, and English and Swedish silver. Borrowing of the same ancestral form into the Balto-Slavic languages produced Russian serebro, polish and Serbo-Croat srebro, Lithuanian sidabras, and Latvian sidrabs.