Definition of shilling in US English:



  • 1A former British coin and monetary unit equal to one twentieth of a pound or twelve pence.

    • ‘Knowing that there were 12 pennies to the shilling, and 20 shillings to the pound, was second nature.’
    • ‘Buy a little book ruled for the purpose for pounds, shillings and pence and keep an account of cash received and expended.’
    • ‘In the early 70s, we lost our pounds, shillings and pence.’
    • ‘Long before that, and before my time, the nation had adapted to Decimal Currency from ‘Pounds, shillings and pence’.’
    • ‘It will be little different from when we scrapped pounds, shillings and pence and switched to the decimal system.’
    • ‘The cult series' writer, producer and voice will take people back to the days of pounds, shillings and pence, tin baths and condensed milk butties.’
    • ‘There were twelve pence to a shilling and twenty shillings to a pound.’
    • ‘The entries note the items purchased, the unit price where applicable, and the total price denominated in pounds, shillings, and pence.’
    • ‘The more the sheriffs' renders were made in cash, the greater the need for an easily followed but quick method of making calculations in pounds, shillings, and pence.’
    • ‘Within about five minutes however I found out that LSD also stands for pounds, shillings and pence.’
    • ‘It sounds even worse in pounds, shillings and pence.’
    • ‘The main problem, of course, isn't one of pounds, shillings and pence, it's one of seconds, minutes and hours.’
    • ‘For example in old British measures there were twelve inches in a foot, twelve pennies in a shilling etc.’
    • ‘And who would go back to 12 pence to one shilling, 20 shillings to a pound with no calculator?’
    • ‘For the purpose of this article I will be figuring a shilling to be worth an average 5 pence (48 shillings to the pound).’
    • ‘The real total was thirty-eight pounds, nine shillings, two pence, but why fiddle with details?’
    • ‘I wonder what these former opponents would have to say if we were told to change back to pounds, shillings and pence?’
    • ‘Behind, on a shelf, stands a magisterial cash-register, which looks as if it has been ringing up the pounds, shillings and pence since the dawn of time.’
    • ‘I'll take anything, even old pennies from the pound shilling and pence era.’
    • ‘A bold statement of traditional values, in something as close to pounds, shillings and pence as an opposition party will ever allow.’
  • 2The basic monetary unit in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, equal to 100 cents.

    • ‘As the Kenya shilling fights its way up against the dollar, shareholders are capitalizing on the stock market before, inevitably, the prices start coming down.’
    • ‘Granted more than just economic resources go into consumer decisions, but having shillings is one of the most basic.’
    • ‘Usually a two-kilogram tin of both mbuni and cherry go for only five shillings.’
    • ‘The basic monetary unit is the Somali shilling, with one hundred cents equal to one shilling.’
    • ‘After joining, I got a loan of 7,000 Kenya shillings.’
    • ‘Now also operates an internet caf with four computers, charging 10 Kenyan shillings, that's less than one U.S. cent per minute.’
    • ‘Even the fact that there are 2,170 Ugandan shillings to the euro tells its own tale of how wrecked the economy there is.’
    • ‘At the close of trade on Friday, the Ugandan shilling traded at nearly 2,000 to the U.S. dollar.’
    • ‘I browsed and noted the Tanzanian shilling prices being demanded for learned academic tomes on Law, History, Commerce and Science, all of them published in Britain.’
    • ‘There are about 2,000 Tanzanian shillings to the £, but, as with most places in Africa, the locals prefer US dollars.’


Old English scilling, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schelling and German Schilling.