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

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 The foreign exchange student had been attending classes at the school, southeast of Houston, since August, and said that getting accepted into a U.S. program to study was the best thing that ever happened to her. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Body of Pakistani exchange student killed in Texas school shooting returns home," 22 May 2018 And in June 2018, the New York banking regulator fined the bank $205 million over violations relating to the company’s foreign exchange trading business. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Deutsche Bank’s German office raids (apparently) have nothing to do with Trump," 30 Nov. 2018 Chang Liu, an economist with Capital Economics estimates that the central bank may have sold around $14 billion worth of foreign exchange in October, below the $17 billion sold in September. WSJ, "Strong Dollar Hits China’s Foreign-Exchange Reserves," 7 Nov. 2018 Macri also dropped the previous government's foreign exchange controls, ushering in the sharp devaluation of the peso. Almudena Calatrava, Fox News, "Argentines seek soup kitchens, barter markets amid crisis," 10 Sep. 2018 The overstay rate was much higher among students and foreign exchange visitors, with 4.2 percent staying after their visas expired, a decline from 5.5 percent the previous year. Elliot Spagat, The Seattle Times, "More than 700,000 foreigners overstayed visas last year," 7 Aug. 2018 The investigation stemmed from a 2011 class-action suit alleging State Street Bank overcharged institutional customers for foreign exchange trades. Andrea Estes,, "Investigation alleges misconduct by Thornton Law Firm, recommends severe sanctions," 29 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of foreign exchange

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about foreign exchange

Share foreign exchange

Statistics for foreign exchange

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foreign exchange

The first known use of foreign exchange was in 1691

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!