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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That set off a monthslong undercover operation in which an agent posing as a representative of a foreign country made contact with Toebbe, ultimately paying $100,000 in cryptocurrency in exchange for the information Toebbe was offering. CBS News, 27 Sep. 2022 Gold’s first miner came from a company called Emrit, which sent him a free hotspot in exchange for 80% of the earnings. Leo Schwartz, Fortune, 27 Sep. 2022 In exchange for free airplane tickets, remote nomads signed up to boost the local economy during a tourism downturn. Fifth & Mission Podcast, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Sep. 2022 Russell pleaded guilty to racketeering and is expecting prosecutors to recommend a sentence of 10 to 20 years behind bars in exchange for his truthful testimony. Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, 26 Sep. 2022 In the 1970s, India attempted to get Asiatic cheetahs from Iran in exchange for Asiatic lions, but negotiations failed after the shah was deposed. Bilal Kuchay, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Sep. 2022 The officers agreed to guard deals across the county, including one at the Cuyahoga County Airport, in exchange for anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $1,500 in cash. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 26 Sep. 2022 Moffo originally planned to train a therapy dog but decided to switch species when her cousin offered her a piglet in exchange for farm work. Pam Mcloughlin, Hartford Courant, 26 Sep. 2022 DeVante Parker, whom the Patriots acquired from the Dolphins in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick, has a $6 million salary cap hit. Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Sun, 24 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Former Penn State standouts Micah Parsons and Saquon Barkley will exchange pleasantries early and often in this one. Jaylon Thompson, USA TODAY, 26 Sep. 2022 Fans with cash can exchange for a Fancard in $20 increments in two locations in the stadium: Lower Level (first Floor), Section AA (near Concession S126); and Upper Level (eighth Floor), Section NN-8 (near Concession N804). Ben Flanagan |, al, 23 Sep. 2022 Later in the evening, Robbie appeared to exchange the sheer skirt for a pair of baggy jeans, in order to more comfortably sign autographs and pose for pics with fans, presumably. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 19 Sep. 2022 Individuals may exchange one ticket for an accessible seat and one for a companion, if available. Mike Hart, Journal Sentinel, 30 Aug. 2022 Say two parties, Alice and Bob, want to exchange a message in secret, even under the watchful gaze of a potential attacker. Jordana Cepelewicz, Quanta Magazine, 24 Aug. 2022 While negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on most issues— including prisoner swaps—have all but stopped, the two sides still regularly exchange bodies. Katya Soldak, Forbes, 16 Aug. 2022 The all-stock deal would exchange each share outstanding of Unity common stock for 1.152 of AppLovin Class A voting stock and 0.314 of its Class C nonvoting stock. Sarah E. Needleman, WSJ, 9 Aug. 2022 Residents could exchange their guns for gift cards at the event, which was hosted at Wheeler Ave. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 31 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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

29 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Exchange.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for exchange


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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