noun, often attributive
dol·​lar | \ ˈdä-lər How to pronounce dollar (audio) \

Definition of dollar

1 : taler
2 : any of numerous coins patterned after the taler (such as a Spanish peso)
3a : any of various basic monetary units (as in the U.S. and Canada) — see Money Table
b : a coin, note, or token representing one dollar
5 : money obtained from a specific source the tourism dollar

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Synonyms for dollar


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Did You Know?

In the mountains of Bohemia is the small town of Jáchymov. In the early 16th century, the town was known by its German name, Sankt Joachimstal. At that time, a silver mine was opened nearby, and coins were minted to which the name joachimstaler was applied. In German this was shortened to Taler. Shortly afterward the Dutch or Low German form daler was borrowed into English to refer to the Taler and other coins that were patterned after it, such as the Spanish peso, which circulated widely in Britain’s North American colonies. Our modern word dollar is a different spelling of this daler. When the newly independent American colonies settled on an offi cial monetary unit in 1785, they chose the name dollar.

Examples of dollar in a Sentence

She had to pay hundreds of dollars in auto repairs. She put a wrinkled dollar down on the counter. The dollar dropped sharply against the pound. the strength of the dollar The dollar is worth more in Mexico.
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Recent Examples on the Web The rial has lost half its value as compared to the dollar since the summer of 2017, which means the costs of goods and services (especially food, utilities, and gasoline) are spiking and families' savings are being obliterated. Bonnie Kristian, TheWeek, "Iran needs sanction relief to get through this pandemic," 18 Mar. 2020 Now, Republicans often reluctant to spend federal dollars did not flinch at the head-spinning number, as a roster of America's big and small industries — airlines, hotels, retailers — lined up for aid. Lisa Mascaro, Detroit Free Press, "White House seeks $850B economic stimulus amid coronavirus crisis," 17 Mar. 2020 Republicans often reluctant to spend federal dollars did not flinch at the head-spinning number, as a roster of America's big and small industries — airlines, hotels, retailers — lined up for aid. Lisa Mascaro, Zeke Miller, Houston Chronicle, "White House seeking $850 billion economic stimulus amid coronavirus pandemic, sources say," 17 Mar. 2020 President Trump to expedite the flow of federal dollars to local communities, and state officials extended until June 15 the deadline for those affected by the virus to file their California income tax returns. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, "Newsom orders more aid to California campuses shuttered by coronavirus, opting not to close schools statewide," 13 Mar. 2020 Buttigieg has been aggressively fundraising, both at events and through small-dollar donations. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "How Pete Buttigieg went from winning Iowa to withdrawing from the presidential race," 2 Mar. 2020 If chips make the world go round, ASML may be the closest the multi-trillion-dollar global tech industry has to a linchpin. The Economist, "How ASML became chipmaking’s biggest monopoly," 29 Feb. 2020 Card and digital payments are on the rise around the world, and consumers are increasingly going cashless for even small-dollar transactions. Dasia Moore, Quartz, "What to expect in a cash-free future," 22 Feb. 2020 This attack—targeting members of a non-profit association—is just the latest wrinkle in that trend, borrowing the tactics, if not the precision, of big-dollar targeted attacks against corporations. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Anatomy of a dumb spear-phish: Hitting librarians up for Zelle, CashApp cash," 19 Feb. 2020

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

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dollar

Dutch or Low German daler, from German Taler, short for Joachimstaler, from Sankt Joachimsthal, Bohemia, where talers were first made

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Time Traveler for dollar

Time Traveler

The first known use of dollar was in 1553

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Statistics for dollar

Last Updated

25 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dollar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for dollar


How to pronounce dollar (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dollar

: a basic unit of money in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and other countries that is equal to 100 cents
: a bill or coin that is worth one dollar
technical : the value of a dollar when it is compared to another unit of money


dol·​lar | \ ˈdä-lər How to pronounce dollar (audio) \

Kids Definition of dollar

: any of various coins or pieces of paper money (as of the United States or Canada) equal to 100 cents

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