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 Editor's Note: All currency has been converted to USD. Nell Frizzell,, "Does Money Really Ruin Friendships?," 19 Feb. 2020 Sisk’s doctorate in numismatics – the study of coins and currency – is from Ashwood University, an unaccredited online school based in Pakistan. Leada Gore |, al, "Ex-Alabama school leader investigated for degree claims; received doctorate from Pakistani site," 19 Feb. 2020 The digital currency platform Ripple (XRP) saw shares jumped around the same time. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Can the coronavirus spread through cash exchanges or live on credit cards?," 19 Feb. 2020 Universal Music Group is firing on all cylinders as its revenue exploded last year to €7.16 billion ($8.04 billion), an 18.9% increase (15.6% on a constant currency basis) over the previous year when revenue totaled €6.023 billion ($7.15 billion). Ed Christman, Billboard, "Inside the Earnings: UMG Is Firing on Full Cylinders Headed Towards 2023 IPO," 19 Feb. 2020 Rodriguez-Soto would then title the vehicles under someone else's name to conceal the purchaser's identity and avoid currency reporting requirements. Elizabeth Depompei, Indianapolis Star, "'Ring leader' of drug-laundering scheme sentenced to federal prison," 19 Feb. 2020 Under normal circumstances governments around the world spend around $10 billion a year to replace currency that’s in bad condition. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "China is literally cleaning its money to stop the spread of coronavirus," 15 Feb. 2020 The newest presentation celebrated the not-so-humble cacao bean, which was so valued that it was used as currency and to barter in Mesoamerica. Elaine Ayala,, "Ayala: Passing down culture and traditions one chocolate at a time," 13 Feb. 2020 One senior financial services executive said her questioning of the Fed’s independence, her skepticism of the need for deposit insurance and her track record of advocating an anchored currency are areas that would draw lawmaker questions. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "As Congress Prepares to Vet Judy Shelton, Worries About the Fed’s Future Mount," 12 Feb. 2020

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

23 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Currency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for currency



Financial Definition of currency

What It Is

Currency is a medium of exchange for goods or services within an economy.

How It Works

Currency can be either fiat or tied to an underlying asset. Fiat money has no intrinsic value and is backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing government. That is, this type of currency is not worth very much in terms of its value as a raw material. Most paper money is fiat money, and its value comes from what it represents rather than what it is. Asset-backed currencies tied to gold, silver or other valuable commodities are rare in present day markets.

Why It Matters

Currency serves an important role in an economy, and has three universally accepted economic advantages: it acts as a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a standard of value. Meaning it allows buyers and sellers to quickly arrive at comparative prices instead ofThe definition of currency on InvestingAnswers haggling over how many of one good is worth compared to an unlimited number of others.

It is important to remember, though, that fiat money is only as good as the organization that issues it. If the entity defaults, the currency is worthless.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce currency (audio)

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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