noun, often attributive
dol·lar | \ˈdä-lər \

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

4 : ringgit

5 : money obtained from a specific source the tourism dollar

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Synonyms for dollar


buck, clam, one

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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 Indianapolis Cultural Trail cost $63 million — $35 million in federal funding and $27 million in private dollars. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "Will Kansas City ever be bike-friendly? The city is about to roll out a plan," 13 July 2018 About $8 million in federal dollars will help fund future programs and house homeless youths in San Diego County, officials announced Friday. Gary Warth,, "HUD grants $8M for San Diego to help homeless youths," 13 July 2018 In the same 20 years, the booming north-side community has collected $89 million and the struggling south-side neighborhood has collected $12.7 million in TIF dollars. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "News / Politics / Poverty / Race Father Pfleger, top cop Johnson, and a tinge of hope for the city’s future," 13 July 2018 The state, with its own budget issues, also has pledged hundreds of millions more in taxpayer dollars over the life of the debt and has lifted a cap originally set at $265 million. Allison Ross, The Courier-Journal, "How KFC Yum Center became Louisville's billion-dollar baby," 12 July 2018 The consulting firm divides the two parts of the region at Highway 92, and since 2010, the northern region has taken the lead in dollars raised by startups. Natasha Mascarenhas,, "The new Silicon Valley has cable cars and an orange bridge," 12 July 2018 Overall sales measured in dollars also kept setting records — good news for agents and lenders. John Sowell, idahostatesman, "Just when you thought Idaho home prices couldn’t climb any higher, they do, by a lot," 12 July 2018 Pastor makes decisions every day about how hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars are being spent. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Time's up for Jeff Pastor's campaign finance report. Is an investigation coming?," 11 July 2018 His competitors have borrowed in dollars and euros, too, but take in lira. New York Times, "Turkey’s Economy Is So Hot That It May Face a Meltdown," 10 July 2018

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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Statistics for dollar

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dollar

The first known use of dollar was in 1553

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More Definitions for dollar



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

the dollar : the value of a dollar when it is compared to another unit of money


dol·lar | \ˈdä-lər \

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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Comments on dollar

What made you want to look up dollar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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