dol·​lar ˈdä-lər How to pronounce dollar (audio)
often attributive
: taler
: any of numerous coins patterned after the taler (such as a Spanish peso)
: any of various basic monetary units (as in the U.S. and Canada) see Money Table
: a coin, note, or token representing one dollar
: money obtained from a specific source
the tourism dollar

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 official 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Others, like Mike Lindell, have spent millions of dollars in hopes of overturning the 2020 election. Makena Kelly, WIRED, 11 Apr. 2024 Soper, whose original designs can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, wonders if a tracker was affixed to her vehicle while it was parked at the lot on Hill. Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2024 Rebuilding: The bridge, built in the 1970s, will probably take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild, experts said. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2024 The fact that his measure, Proposition 1, barely survived despite many millions of dollars being spent on the campaign for it, indicates anew that Californians are growing weary of politicians’ promises to end the crisis. Dan Walters, Orange County Register, 11 Apr. 2024 Moments after the Dali struck it, the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into Patapsco River, killing at least six construction workers, likely causing billions of dollars in damage and forever altering the Baltimore skyline. USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2024 The federal lawsuit filed in Detroit on behalf of four UWM borrowers in North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee accused the lender of costing borrowers billions of dollars. Catherine Reagor, The Arizona Republic, 11 Apr. 2024 When he was confronted in 2022 about having hundreds of dollars in delinquent Guilford County vehicle tax bills, Robinson initially suggested that his wife handled their taxes, according to WRAL-TV News in Raleigh. Will Steakin, ABC News, 11 Apr. 2024 Mega dollars flow into the race This is likely to be the most expensive Republican primary in Indiana history. The Indianapolis Star, 11 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dollar.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dollar was in 1553

Dictionary Entries Near dollar

Cite this Entry

“Dollar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


dol·​lar ˈdäl-ər How to pronounce dollar (audio)
: a coin (as a Spanish peso) similar to an earlier German silver coin
: a basic unit of money (as of the U.S. and Canada)
: a coin or bill representing one dollar

from Dutch daler "silver coin formerly used in Germany," from German Taler (same meaning), shortened from Joachimstaler "a coin made in Sankt Joachimsthal (Saint Joachim's Valley) in Bohemia (a former kingdom in Europe)"

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