noun, often attributive
mon·ey | \ˈmə-nē \
plural moneys or monies\ˈmə-nēz \

Definition of money 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment: such as

a : officially coined or stamped metal currency newly minted money

b : money of account

c : paper money handed the bank teller a wad of money

2a : wealth reckoned in terms of money made her money in the insurance business

b : an amount of money raised the money for a new library

c moneys or monies plural : sums of money : funds the collection of tax monies

3 : a form or denomination of coin or paper money wanted his money in $10 bills

4a : the first, second, and third place winners (as in a horse or dog race) usually used in the phrases in the money or out of the money

b : prize money his horse took third money

5a : persons or interests possessing or controlling great wealth politicians at the beck and call of money

b : a position of wealth born into money

for one's money

: according to one's preference or opinion For my money, this is her best novel yet.

on the money

: exactly right or accurate His prediction that it would rain was right on the money.

money table



Definition of money (Entry 2 of 2)

: involving or reliable in a crucial situation a money player a money pitch

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Synonyms & Antonyms for money

Synonyms: Noun

capitalist, deep pocket, fat cat, have, moneybags, plutocrat

Antonyms: Noun

have-not, pauper

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Examples of money in a Sentence


That painting must be worth a lot of money. He earned some money last summer as a musician. We're trying to save enough money for a new car. The town is raising money for the elementary school. Friends would always ask her for money. It's an interesting idea, but there's no money in it: it'll never sell. He made his money in the insurance business. They decided to put all their money in the stock market. We didn't have much money when I was growing up. Most of the project is being paid for by federal monies.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The transactions are typically for small amounts of money. Gal Tziperman Lotan,, "Portal's shutdown puts farmers market trips in jeopardy for SNAP recipients," 14 July 2018 Having said that, the Justice Department’s decision to appeal its lost case against the merger feels like a waste of government time and money. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Trump Diplomacy, Wilbur Ross, China Surplus: CEO Daily for July 13, 2018," 13 July 2018 But the police department could also use some of that money. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "News / Politics / Poverty / Race Father Pfleger, top cop Johnson, and a tinge of hope for the city’s future," 13 July 2018 The goal of these efforts is not to spend tons of money, but to do something different. Clay Marsh, STAT, "Facing deaths of despair from the depths of despair in West Virginia," 12 July 2018 The worthlessness of Venezuela’s currency is the result of inflation, 46,000% a year, which in turn is largely caused by the printing of money to finance the government’s deficit of 30% of GDP. The Economist, "Venezuelan cash is almost worthless, but also scarce," 12 July 2018 No one wants to spend a lot of time or money in the chase. Michael Nagrant, RedEye Chicago, "Date night under $50: What to order at some of Chicago's best restaurants," 12 July 2018 Aldi is known for saving customers a significant amount of money on groceries. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Fresh Market closing Fishers grocery store," 10 July 2018 Daimler has already spent significant amounts of money to build out lithium-ion battery assembly in Germany. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Chinese firm will build battery factory in Germany to supply BMW, Volkswagen," 9 July 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1934, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for money


Middle English moneye, from Anglo-French moneie, from Latin moneta mint, money — more at mint


see money entry 1

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Learn More about money

Statistics for money

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for money

The first known use of money was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for money



Financial Definition of money

What It Is

Money is a medium of exchange for goods or services within an economy.

How It Works

Philosophically, anything can be money, but coins and paper notes are the most generally accepted forms. In most cases, each country in the world has its own money, but in many cases several countries use the same  money (such as the Euro). A country's government designs and manufactures  that country's money.

Some money is fiat money, meaning that it has no intrinsic value. That is, the paper or metal used to create the money is not worth very much in terms of its value as a raw material. Most paper money is fiat money, and its value comes from what it represents rather than what it is. Before 1971, the U.S. dollar was not fiat money -- it was backed by a corresponding amount of gold held with the Federal Reserve.

The foreign exchange markets are places to trade money, and these markets affect exchange rates (that is, the amounts of one  money needed to buy a certain amount of another  money).

Why It Matters

Most money only has value because people want it. This idea is what made beaver pelts, shells, peppercorns, tulip bulbs, and other things into money at various points in history. However, when the demand (or fashion) faded for some of these goods (or more people found they really needed corn instead of beaver pelts), these systems became cumbersome. Paper money solves these problem because it is exchangeable for any good or service that people want (rather than just beaver pelts).

This isn't to say that paper and coins aren't the only forms of viable money today. Quite often, companies use shares of their own stock as money to acquire other companies, and anybody who has ever watched a crime show knows that cigarettes can buy a lot in prison.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of money

: something (such as coins or bills) used as a way to pay for goods and services and to pay people for their work

: a person's wealth : the money that a person has

monies : amounts of money


mon·ey | \ˈmə-nē \
plural moneys or monies\-ēz \

Kids Definition of money

1 : something (such as coins or bills) used to buy goods and services and to pay people for their work

2 : a person's wealth

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mon·ey | \ˈmə-nē \
plural moneys; plural monies\ˈmə-nēz \

Legal Definition of money 

1 : an accepted or authorized medium of exchange especially : coinage or negotiable paper issued as legal tender by a government

2a : assets or compensation in the form of or readily convertible into cash

b : capital dealt in as a commodity to be lent, traded, or invested mortgage money available from a lender the money supply

c  plural : sums of money collect tax moneys

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Comments on money

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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