bo·​li·​var | \ bə-ˈlē-ˌvär How to pronounce bolivar (audio) , ˈbä-lə-vər How to pronounce bolivar (audio) \
plural bolivares\ ˌbä-​lə-​ˈvär-​ˌās How to pronounce bolivares (audio) , ˌbō-​lē-​ \ or bolivars

Definition of bolivar

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the basic monetary unit of Venezuela — see Money Table


biographical name

Definition of Bolívar (Entry 2 of 2)

Si*món \ sē-​ˌmōn-​bə-​ˈlē-​ˌvär How to pronounce Bolívar (audio) ; ˌsī-​mən-​ˈbä-​lə-​ˌvär , -​vər \ 1783–1830 South American liberator

Examples of bolivar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Why is Libra more stable than the Venezuelan bolivar? Washington Post, "Why Facebook Is Minting a Coin and How You Can Use It," 19 June 2019 Hyperinflation left the Venezuelan bolivar nearly worthless, and the country’s leader, Nicolas Maduro, has refused to concede power in the face of international pressure. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "UN study finds 1 in 3 Venezuelans facing hunger," 24 Feb. 2020 In May, the government ended foreign-currency controls for banks, allowing dollars to circulate freely alongside the beleaguered bolivar. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "Maduro Gives Economy a Freer Hand to Keep His Grip on Venezuela," 30 Jan. 2020 By some estimates, there are three times as many dollars in circulation as bolivars, creating a de facto dollarization of the economy that is stabilizing inflation. Washington Post, "A fake Walmart, cases of Dom Pérignon and the almighty dollar. Inside socialist Venezuela’s chaotic embrace of the free market.," 25 Dec. 2019 Venezuelan bolivars acquired on the black market could then be used to buy back dollars at the government rate, allowing the people involved to reap massive profits. José De Córdoba, WSJ, "Ex-Banker Pleads Guilty in Venezuela Money-Laundering Case," 23 Aug. 2018 With no debit card machines working, and few people carrying the vast quantities of bolivars needed to buy goods, the greenback became the primary means of... Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Venezuela’s ‘Two Realities’: People With Dollars and Those Without," 25 Mar. 2019 The International Monetary Fund says inflation of the Venezuelan bolivar, the country’s currency, is expected to hit a startling 200,000 percent this year. NBC News, "As Venezuela's economy struggles, some of its citizens turn to a lucrative gig: Cybercrime," 23 Nov. 2019 To restore incentives for saving and investment, one approach would be to replace the bolivar with the U.S. dollar or another stable, widely convertible currency. Eric Martin And Patricia Laya | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "What Broke Venezuela’s Economy and What Could Fix It," 11 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bolivar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bolivar


1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bolivar


American Spanish bolívar, from Simón Bolívar

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The first known use of bolivar was in 1879

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Cite this Entry

“Bolivar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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