legal tender


Definition of legal tender

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

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Synonyms for legal tender


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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 Forced by law to recognize the coins as legal tender, the Fed would add $2 trillion to the Treasury's account. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "How does America pay for a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill? With 2 shiny coins, this lawmaker argues," 25 Mar. 2020 The local currency is the legal tender for all domestic transactions except for a few business operators particularly those in the tourism sector who can trade in US dollar. Farai Shawn Matiashe, Quartz Africa, "A currency swap deal with China could backfire on Zimbabwe’s hope to build forex reserves," 16 Jan. 2020 Their deposits swelled as people returned the 86% of the currency that was no longer legal tender. Washington Post, "Going Subprime Isn’t the Answer for India’s Big Banks," 12 Sep. 2019 Inflation accelerated following last month’s decision to re-introduce a Zimbabwean currency as the country’s sole legal tender. Washington Post, "Zimbabwe’s civil servants protest pay as inflation hits 176%," 16 July 2019 If central banks can surmount the technical difficulties, digital currencies could allow for faster and cheaper money transfers across borders, and could improve access to legal tender in countries where cash supplies are dwindling. Washington Post, "Why Central Bankers Got Serious About Digital Cash," 20 Oct. 2019 But most of the bills seen in photos by CNN appear to still be legal tender, according to the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Paul P. Murphy, CNN, "Bar donates the $13,961 patrons stapled to the walls to Hurricane Dorian relief in the Bahamas," 2 Oct. 2019 This November Zimbabwe will inject more cash into the economy in the form of new ZWL 2 coins, ZWL 2 and ZWL 5 notes and these will be legal tender alongside the bond notes introduced in 2016 pending their gradual phasing out from the market. Tawanda Karombo, Quartz Africa, "How to understand why Zimbabwe is bringing back the Zim dollar and the limits of mobile money," 31 Oct. 2019 Though not as crude as President Grant’s coup adding two members to the high bench to win majority approval of his legal tender law, Mr. Roosevelt’s proposal, in its political sense, is designed to achieve the same end. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Some Democrats Want to Make the Supreme Court Bigger. Here's the History of Court Packing," 18 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'legal tender.' 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 legal tender

circa 1730, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for legal tender

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The first known use of legal tender was circa 1730

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Cite this Entry

“Legal tender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for legal tender

legal tender


English Language Learners Definition of legal tender

: money that the law allows people to use for paying debts

legal tender


Legal Definition of legal tender

: 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for legal tender

Nglish: Translation of legal tender for Spanish Speakers

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