cur·​ren·​cy | \ ˈkər-ən(t)-sē How to pronounce currency (audio) , ˈkə-rən(t)- \
plural currencies

Definition of currency

1a : circulation as a medium of exchange
b : general use, acceptance, or prevalence a story gaining currency
c : the quality or state of being current : currentness needed to check the accuracy and currency of the information
2a : something (such as coins, treasury notes, and banknotes) that is in circulation as a medium of exchange
b : paper money in circulation
c : a common article for bartering Furs were once used as currency.
d : a medium of verbal or intellectual expression … neither side possessed any currency but clichés …— Jan Struther

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Synonyms for currency


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Examples of currency in a Sentence

A new currency has been introduced in the foreign exchange market. They were paid in U.S. currency. Furs were once traded as currency. The word has not yet won widespread currency. I'm not sure about the accuracy and currency of their information.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Suez Canal Authority and the government have invested some of the canal’s revenue, a major source of Egypt’s foreign currency reserves, in hospitals and schools in the area, residents said. Washington Post, "How did a ship get stuck in the Suez Canal?," 28 Mar. 2021 The Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, is a major source of foreign currency for Egypt., "New attempt to free huge vessel stuck in Suez Canal is expected this weekend," 27 Mar. 2021 For example, last month, G20 finance ministers recommended the International Monetary Fund explore issuing special drawing rights, which are supplemental foreign currency assets that can supplement member countries’ official reserves. Rajiv J. Shah, Fortune, "The choice for rich nations: Help vaccinate the developing world, or face a prolonged pandemic," 19 Mar. 2021 The country desperately needs foreign currency, but international donors want major anti-corruption reforms first — lest the funds disappear into a notorious state sector sinkhole that has brought the nation to the brink of bankruptcy. Bassem Mroue,, "Anger in Lebanon as currency, prices spiral out of control: ‘The ruling class must go’," 4 Mar. 2021 Within key nations, a significant share of such private services is directed towards the pursuit international patronage of services intended to drive foreign currency revenues through medical tourism. David Walcott, Forbes, "Healthcare Beyond The New Normal: Learning From Trends & Opportunities Across Borders," 1 Mar. 2021 During the years of direct military rule, critics of the army were locked up for, among other charges, holding foreign currency and riding a motorcycle backward. New York Times, "To Fight or Hide: Fear Grips Myanmar With Military Back in Charge," 6 Feb. 2021 Kuwait had been a key source of foreign currency for Pyongyang, which sent thousands of laborers there, mostly for construction projects. NBC News, "North Korea's acting envoy to Kuwait defects to South Korea, lawmaker says," 25 Jan. 2021 Mexico has limits on the amount of foreign currency that individuals and businesses can deposit in cash, as part of measures to combat the laundering of illicit funds. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Mexico Working on Alternative to Bill That Would Force Central Bank to Buy Dollars," 22 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'currency.' 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 currency

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for currency

curr(ent) entry 1 + -ency

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Time Traveler for currency

Time Traveler

The first known use of currency was in 1624

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Statistics for currency

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Currency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for currency



English Language Learners Definition of currency

: the money that a country uses : a specific kind of money
: something that is used as money
: the quality or state of being used or accepted by many people


cur·​ren·​cy | \ ˈkər-ən-sē How to pronounce currency (audio) \
plural currencies

Kids Definition of currency

1 : common use or acceptance The idea has wide currency.
2 : money in circulation We were paid in the country's currency.

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Comments on currency

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