noun cur·ren·cy \ ˈkər-ən(t)-sē , ˈkə-rən(t)- \
|Updated on: 21 Aug 2018

Definition of currency

plural currencies
1 a : 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
2 a : 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

Examples of currency in a Sentence

  1. A new currency has been introduced in the foreign exchange market.

  2. They were paid in U.S. currency.

  3. Furs were once traded as currency.

  4. The word has not yet won widespread currency.

  5. I'm not sure about the accuracy and currency of their information.

Recent Examples of currency from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of currency

Other Monetary Terms

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.

CURRENCY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of currency for English Language Learners

  • : 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

CURRENCY Defined for Kids


noun cur·ren·cy \ ˈkər-ən-sē \

Definition of currency for Students

plural currencies
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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