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

Philadelphia acquired Howard from the Bears this offseason in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round pick. Emily Caron,, "Sources: Eagles Inquire About Melvin Gordon, Offer Jordan Howard," 4 Sep. 2019 The Oak Brook Park District is looking for someone to contribute $2 million in exchange for 20-year naming rights of the 34 acres of vacant land purchased from McDonald’s after voters approved a $17.9 million referendum in November 2018. Chuck Fieldman,, "Oak Brook Park District offers naming rights for former McDonald’s property in exchange for $2 million," 4 Sep. 2019 And Los Olvidados joins the cartel in exchange for money that is to be donated to the poor. Rosy Cordero,, "Everything to remember from Mayans M.C. before its season 2 premiere," 3 Sep. 2019 The Browns acquired Teller and a 2021 seventh-round pick from Buffalo in exchange for fifth- and sixth-round picks in 2020. Dan Labbe,, "New Browns guard Wyatt Teller settling in after ‘whirlwind’ few days," 2 Sep. 2019 The nuclear deal is meant to keep Tehran from building atomic weapons in exchange for economic relief. Fox News, "Tehran will 'take a strong step' away from nuclear deal if Europe doesn't offer new terms, Iran says," 2 Sep. 2019 Volunteer host keepers receive basic long-term accommodations in exchange for staffing museums, guiding tours or assisting with restoration; Maine’s Seguin Point Lighthouse offers a summertime role. Erin Williams, Twin Cities, "Beacons of possibility: Light stations offer accommodations to travelers across the country," 1 Sep. 2019 Pazos, acquired on April 26 in a trade with the Phillies in exchange for infield prospect Hunter Stovall, has appeared in 137 major league games in four seasons between the Yankees and Mariners. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Pat Valaika, James Pazos and Jeff Hoffman join Rockies with still more September call-ups to come," 1 Sep. 2019 Yes, the Niners cut a player who might actually help the team win games this season in exchange for one that would be unlikely to land another job should he have been cut Saturday. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: The 49ers’ roster was shaped by Kyle Shanahan’s ego," 31 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The current protocols for exchanging patients’ data, for instance, would let people use consumer apps to get different types of information, like their prescription drug history. New York Times, "Getting Your Medical Records Through an App? There’s a Catch. And a Fight.," 3 Sep. 2019 Fans can also exchange their tickets for either of the team’s remaining home matches on Sept. 11 or Oct. 12. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Hurricane Dorian forces postponement of Orlando Pride match against Washington Spirit," 29 Aug. 2019 The two people exchanged information and will handle it between themselves. Hank Beckman,, "La Grange police blotter: tools valued at $25,000 reported stolen," 9 Aug. 2019 According to the affidavit, Nickerson crashed into another car in a parking lot about a block away from the food plant, grabbed his backpack with the handgun inside and walked to work without exchanging any information with the other driver., "Foster Farms worker says he fired ‘warning shot’ in women’s bathroom, records show," 19 July 2019 The Next Door app helps neighbors exchange information on a host of issues. Catharine Hamm,, "High-tech and no-tech ways to keep your home safe without spending a fortune," 15 July 2019 Campaigners say the shutdown in Mauritania is only exacerbating the situation and preventing journalists, human rights defenders, and opposition groups from freely accessing and exchanging information. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Mauritania blocked the internet over protests though just one in five people are online," 28 June 2019 Summer travelers needn’t make other special preparations, other than exchanging currency for rubles before arriving in Siberia, where the exchange rate is less favorable. Alexey Vasilyev, National Geographic, "How to celebrate summer in the world’s coldest city," 27 June 2019 These advantages are especially important in exchanging detailed storm information . ., "Why do we name hurricanes?," 4 June 2019

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

7 Sep 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 make a temporary encampment

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