noun, often attributive
ex·​change | \ iks-ˈchānj How to pronounce exchange (audio) , ˈeks-ˌchānj How to pronounce exchange (audio) \

Definition of exchange

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of giving or taking one thing in return for another : trade an exchange of prisoners
2a : the act or process of substituting one thing for another
b : reciprocal giving and receiving
3 : something offered, given, or received in an exchange
4a : funds payable currently at a distant point either in a foreign currency or in domestic currency
b(1) : interchange or conversion of the money of two countries or of current and uncurrent money with allowance for difference in value
(3) : the amount of the difference in value between two currencies or between values of a particular currency at two places
c : instruments (such as checks or bills of exchange) presented in a clearinghouse for settlement
5 : a place where things or services are exchanged: such as
a : an organized market or center for trading in securities or commodities
b : a store or shop specializing in merchandise usually of a particular type
c : a cooperative store or society
d : a central office in which telephone lines are connected to permit communication
in exchange
: as a substitute


exchanged; exchanging

Definition of exchange (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to part with, give, or transfer in consideration of something received as an equivalent
b : to have replaced by other merchandise exchanged the shirt for one in a larger size
2 : to part with for a substitute exchanging future security for immediate pleasure
3 : to give and receive reciprocally exchange gifts

intransitive verb

1 : to pass or become received in exchange
2 : to engage in an exchange

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Other Words from exchange


exchangeability \ iks-​ˌchān-​jə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce exchangeability (audio) \ noun
exchangeable \ iks-​ˈchān-​jə-​bəl How to pronounce exchangeable (audio) \ adjective
exchanger \ iks-​ˈchān-​jər How to pronounce exchanger (audio) , ˈeks-​ˌchān-​ \ noun

Examples of exchange in a Sentence


an even exchange of property an angry exchange of insults a useful exchange of information threats of a nuclear exchange


We exchanged addresses and promised we'd write each other often. These coupons can be exchanged for food. I'd like to exchange this sweater for a smaller one.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Troubled by the failure of the U.S. and North Korea to reach a deal on sanctions relief in exchange for Pyongyang’s disarmament, South Korea is pressing the two sides to return to negotiations to prevent the diplomatic detente from unraveling. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "U.S.-North Korea Nuclear Talks Must Resume Quickly, Says Worried South," 4 Mar. 2019 That is until season 3, when Veronica asks Elio to help her turn Le Bonne Nuit into a casino for one night in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is Elio on "Riverdale"?," 28 Feb. 2019 Azhar was released from custody in India in 1999, in exchange for more than 150 hostages from a hijacked Indian Airlines flight. Munir Ahmed, The Seattle Times, "Pakistani PM willing to talk but warns India not to attack," 20 Feb. 2019 Many studios will have people work the front desk during class check-in times or do other little odd jobs around the studio in exchange for free classes, or even an unlimited membership. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "My 8 Favorite Hacks to Take Group Fitness Classes Without Paying Full Price," 12 Feb. 2019 Pecker is said to have been granted immunity in exchange for his help. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Has National Enquirer Publisher David Pecker Met His Match in Jeff Bezos?," 8 Feb. 2019 Devender Anand, an Indian army spokesman, accused Pakistani forces of initiating the exchange. Roshan Mughal, The Seattle Times, "India suspends key bus service to Pakistani part of Kashmir," 20 Feb. 2019 The exchange left just about everyone, including me, in tears. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Ricki Lake Opens Up About Her Husband's Death in Emotional 'Masked Singer' Reveal," 7 Feb. 2019 Send everyone our love! - the Gaines clan — Chip Gaines (@chipgaines) February 5, 2019 Twitter users were very excited about the exchange. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "The Gaines Family Calls Singer Cher 'Auntie Cher', and It's So Cute," 7 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beer drinkers can exchange 3 tickets for a domestic beer, 4 tickets for craft and imported brews, or 5 tickets for import beer with a souvenir chalice. Nicole Miller-coleman,, "Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival 2018," 26 May 2018 Plus, two 2017 Heartland Film Festival vouchers to exchange for two tickets to a film of their choice. Indianapolis Star, "VIP Party in the Pavilion," 15 May 2018 Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Aviation Safety Agency, said information exchanged with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration focuses on how powerful automation systems should be able to cope with inaccurate sensor signals. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Man Vs. Machine at 40,000 Feet," 6 Jan. 2019 Police responded to the shooting, and exchanged fire with the gunman, officials said at a press conference. German Lopez, Vox, "Mercy Hospital shooting in Chicago: what we know," 20 Nov. 2018 Evidence included video of undercover agents exchanging envelopes with DMV employees in a parking lot. Julia Sclafani, sacbee, "DMV employee found guilty in bogus license scheme with truck driving schools," 27 June 2018 Tencent’s WeChat Pay has become ubiquitous in China, helping to turn the humble QR code into an easy means for consumers to buy things and exchange money with each other. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Alibaba v. Tencent: The Battle for Supremacy in China," 21 June 2018 First off, Hiram seems to be running the show here too: Betty sees him show up to exchange some mysterious envelopes with Sister Woodhouse, the nun overseeing the patients’ fizzle rock dosage. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Betty's In Serious Trouble on This Week's Riverdale," 6 Dec. 2018 Scientists have long suspected that Danube foragers and their farming neighbors gathered at Lepenski Vir to exchange stories and ideas, and probably to find mates. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for exchange


Middle English exchaunge, from Anglo-French eschange, from eschanger to exchange, from Vulgar Latin *excambiare, from Latin ex- + cambiare to exchange — more at change

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Statistics for exchange

Last Updated

9 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exchange

The first known use of exchange was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for exchange



English Language Learners Definition of exchange

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an occurrence in which people give things of similar value to each other : the act of giving or taking one thing in return for another thing
: an occurrence in which people direct something at each other
: an occurrence in which people give information to each other



English Language Learners Definition of exchange (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give something and receive something in return
: to direct (words, looks, etc.) at each other
: to return (a product) to a store and have it replaced by another product : to trade (something that has been purchased) for something else


ex·​change | \ iks-ˈchānj How to pronounce exchange (audio) \

Kids Definition of exchange

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act of giving or taking of one thing in return for another : trade a fair exchange
2 : a place where goods or services are exchanged
3 : the act of giving and receiving between two groups an exchange of ideas


exchanged; exchanging

Kids Definition of exchange (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give or take one thing in return for another : trade, swap



Legal Definition of exchange

1a : a giving of something of value (as real property) in return for something of equal value (as money or property of a like kind)
b in the civil law of Louisiana : a giving of something of value in return for something of equal value except money — compare sale
2 : an organized market or center for trading in securities or commodities

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Comments on exchange

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


to corrupt or become corrupted

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