- A cut of beef from the upper part of the loin just in front of the round, including some of the English rump and the rear part of the English sirloin, the rear half of the whole loin
- noun the best cut of beef from the back of the animal
Origin & History of “sirloin”
One of the oldest of etymological chestnuts is that sirloin got its name because a particular English king found the joint of beef so excellent that he knighted it. The monarch in question has been variously identified as Henry VIII, James I, and Charles II, but while the first of these is chronologically possible, in fact the story has no truth in it at all. The more sober facts are that the word was borrowed from Old French *surloigne, a compound formed from sur ‘above’ and loigne ‘loin’ (source of English loin). The spelling sir- (first recorded in the 18th century) no doubt owes something to the ‘knighting’ story.