Definition of sesterce in English:


(also sestertius)


  • An ancient Roman coin and monetary unit equal to one quarter of a denarius.

    • ‘In ancient Rome, people in the forum were hired for a few sesterces to strut in front of the senate and shout ‘traitor’, ‘liar’, ‘criminal’ at a senator designated by their sponsor.’
    • ‘Indeed, he returned 6 million sestertii seized from Pompey's legate at Corfinum in the first weeks of the war.’
    • ‘Those were the good old days, the glory days of butchery and brutality, before those millions of sesterces from the east flooded Rome with luxury and indolence.’
    • ‘On Tiridates, though it would seem hardly within belief, he spent eight hundred thousand sesterces a day, and on his departure presented him with more than a hundred millions.’
    • ‘There was, of course, one more thing that may be worth a few sesterces, but I would not part with the ring for the world.’


From Latin sestertius (nummus) ‘(coin) that is two and a half (asses)’.