an old Roman coin, originally of silver, later of brass or copper, equal to denarius
Origin of sesterceClassical Latin sestertius (nummus), for semis tertius, two and a half, because equal in value to two and a half asses
A silver or bronze coin of ancient Rome equivalent to one fourth of a denarius.
Origin of sesterceLatin sēstertius, a coin worth two and a half asses : sēmis, half; see sēmi- in Indo-European roots + tertius, third; see trei- in Indo-European roots.
From Latin sēstertius (“that is two-and-a-half”), from sēmis (“half”) + tertius (“third”).