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

Examples of exchange in a Sentence

Noun an even exchange of property an angry exchange of insults a useful exchange of information threats of a nuclear exchange Verb 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 The Wheeler Dealers host, who is currently dating Renée Zellweger, seemingly made a comment about their relationship during a sweet exchange on social media. Maria Pasquini,, 16 July 2021 O’Connell’s appointment comes months after Osbourne exited the series following an internal investigation sparked by a controversial and intense on-air exchange involving Osbourne and Underwood. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 14 July 2021 And Loop offers refillable soaps and lotions from a range of brands, as well as a razor blade exchange. New York Times, 14 July 2021 For those sending money across borders, digital currencies could rapidly speed up the process, which is notoriously tricky and intermediated by different banks and dynamic exchange rates. Scott Nover, Quartz, 11 July 2021 That backhand forced a Djokovic error to conclude a 15-stroke exchange that provided Shapovalov with a break and a 2-1 edge., 10 July 2021 As early as 1953, Friedman advocated floating, whereby market forces would set exchange rates. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, 9 July 2021 Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as on June 18. Forbes Press Releases, Forbes, 8 July 2021 Surveillance video shows a brief exchange of words and Broadnax turning to escape before he was shot. Carrie Napoleon,, 6 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Earlier this year, a teenage boy said 21-year-old YouTube makeup artist James Charles groomed him and forced him to exchange photos on Snapchat. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 13 July 2021 Some commercial airplanes have powerful air filtration systems that scrub and exchange all the air in the cabin two or three times per minute. Matt Jancer, Wired, 4 July 2021 This ability to instantly livestream and exchange video with Apple Watch and iPhone users, straight from Apple Watch, is something that needs to be experienced firsthand to truly appreciate. Chris Hachey, BGR, 23 June 2021 Enter Bitcoin, a safe haven for investors transitioning away from fiat currency into a competitive currency market, where the ability to exchange money digitally without regulation looks increasingly attractive. Raghav Warrier, National Review, 18 June 2021 The two leaders aren’t likely to exchange gifts, as when Putin gave Trump a soccer ball. Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2021 This experiment was intended to mimic what would happen if a third species served as a mixing vat for the bat and human viruses to exchange genetic material. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, 14 June 2021 The tablet connects to a secure private network, which won't allow the inmates to have access to the internet but will permit them to exchange electronic messages like emails. Alaa Elassar, CNN, 13 June 2021 Others, such as Invisalign, are available only from a licensed dentist or orthodontist and require regular in-person visits to check your progress and exchange your aligner trays. Sheila Olson,, 28 May 2021

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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Learn More About exchange

Time Traveler for exchange

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near exchange



exchange charge

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Statistics for exchange

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exchange.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on exchange

Nglish: Translation of exchange for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exchange for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about exchange


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