legal tender

noun

: money that is legally valid for the payment of debts and that must be accepted for that purpose when offered

Examples of legal tender in a Sentence

Soon after France adopted the euro, the French franc ceased to be legal tender. coins and bills are considered legal tender, but postage stamps are not
Recent Examples on the Web Even El Salvador, which adopted bitcoin as legal tender in 2021, has had a hard time getting its citizens on board. Erika Page, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Feb. 2024 Other countries that have adopted the U.S. dollar include El Salvador — which also made bitcoin legal tender — Panama and Zimbabwe. Bryan Pietsch, Washington Post, 12 Dec. 2023 The Royal Mint made a similar announcement, pointing out that new coins will enter circulation but coins with the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II will remain legal tender. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 26 Sep. 2022 Notes featuring her image will continue to be legal tender, the bank said, adding that a further announcement on the subject would come after the period of mourning. Will Horner, WSJ, 9 Sep. 2022 So far, Canada has only minted a commemorative medallion for the king, but will likely add a legal tender soon, as per tradition. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 5 May 2023 The court said the old banknotes should continue to be legal tender, alongside new versions, until the end of this year. Stephanie Busari, CNN, 3 Mar. 2023 The Bank of England said that banknotes featuring the queen remain legal tender and that a further announcement on the topic will be made after a period of mourning. WSJ, 9 Sep. 2022 In 1935, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes cited the 14th Amendment in a decision over government bonds and legal tender. David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'legal tender.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1730, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of legal tender was circa 1730

Dictionary Entries Near legal tender

Cite this Entry

“Legal tender.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/legal%20tender. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

legal tender

noun
: money that the law authorizes for paying debts

Legal Definition

legal tender

noun
: money that is legally valid for the payment of debts and that must be accepted for that purpose when offered

More from Merriam-Webster on legal tender

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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