foreign exchange


Definition of foreign exchange

1 : a process of settling accounts or debts between persons residing in different countries
2 : foreign currency or current short-term credit instruments payable in such currency

Examples of foreign exchange in a Sentence

Our country has to export more in order to earn more foreign exchange.

Recent Examples on the Web

The lender has been fighting to improve its reputation following a string of regulatory investigations throughout the bank, including in retail banking, wealth management and foreign exchange. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, "Wells Fargo Breaks Down Internal Audit Silos to Fend Off Scandals," 1 Feb. 2019 However, China’s strict enforcement of United Nations economic sanctions are believed to have brought economic pain to the North, which suffers from chronic food insecurity and a shortage of fuel and foreign exchange to buy needed imports. Washington Post, "China urges North Korea not to cancel Trump summit," 16 May 2018 The Philippines labor export policy at the time addressed unemployment at home and generated badly needed foreign exchange to bolster the economy. Washington Post, "Slain Filipina in freezer shows risks to overseas workers," 2 Mar. 2018 Financial costs fell sharply thanks to a favorable outcome in a tax dispute in Brazil, and lower foreign exchange losses than in the year-earlier quarter. Anthony Harrup, WSJ, "América Móvil Swings to Profit in Fourth Quarter," 12 Feb. 2019 Parisian Love by Google, 2010 This Google ad tells the love story of a foreign exchange student in Paris, showing search queries typed on a computer screen. Vogue, "The 13 Most Iconic Super Bowl Ads of All Time," 31 Jan. 2019 But most economists place the blame on poor government management, corruption and broken policies, like tight controls over foreign exchange, an overvalued currency and price controls on goods. New York Times, "Venezuela Election Won by Maduro Amid Widespread Disillusionment," 20 May 2018 After years of seclusion, Park returned to politics by winning a parliamentary seat in the late 1990s, during a burst of nostalgia for her father after South Korea's economy was devastated by a foreign exchange crisis. Hyung-jin Kim And Kim Tong-hyung,, "Disgraced South Korean ex-president gets 24-years in prison for massive corruption scandal," 6 Apr. 2018 The Baxter’s middle daughter Mandy, who was formerly portrayed by Molly Ephraim, is now played by Molly McCook; Jet Jurgensmeyer took on the role of grandson Boyd; and Krista Marie Yu joined the cast as a foreign exchange student named Jen. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here's Why Last Man Standing's Eve Baxter Has Been Missing This Season," 9 Nov. 2018

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

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for foreign exchange

Last Updated

26 Apr 2019

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The first known use of foreign exchange was in 1691

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More Definitions for foreign exchange

foreign exchange


Financial Definition of foreign exchange

What It Is

Foreign Exchange (FOREX) refers to the foreign exchange market. It is the over-the-counter market in which the foreign currencies of the world are traded. It is considered the largest and most liquid market in the world.

How It Works

Foreign Exchange has no centralized market. Instead, a foreign exchange market exists wherever the trade of two foreign currencies are taking place. It is open 24 hours a day, five days a week. This foreign exchange market exists to ease investment and trade. The primary trading centers are London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Zurich, Frankfurt, Sydney, and Singapore. All levels of traders, from central banks to speculators, trade currencies with one another.

Why It Matters

Without this mechanism in place, foreign trade and investment would be impeded. Since many currencies abound along with a few major players like the U.S. dollar, the British pound, and the euro, this apparatus provides a clearinghouse to trade those major currencies.

Source: Investing Answers

foreign exchange


English Language Learners Definition of foreign exchange

: the process by which people in different countries pay each other by exchanging different types of money
: money from foreign countries

More from Merriam-Webster on foreign exchange

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foreign exchange Encyclopedia article about foreign exchange

Comments on foreign exchange

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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