noun, often attributive mon·ey \ ˈmə-nē \
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of money

plural moneys or monies play \ˈmə-nēz\
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
c : paper money
  • handed the bank teller a wad of money
2 a : 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
4 a : 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
5 a : 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.

Examples of money in a Sentence

  1. That painting must be worth a lot of money.

  2. He earned some money last summer as a musician.

  3. We're trying to save enough money for a new car.

  4. The town is raising money for the elementary school.

  5. Friends would always ask her for money.

  6. It's an interesting idea, but there's no money in it: it'll never sell.

  7. He made his money in the insurance business.

  8. They decided to put all their money in the stock market.

  9. We didn't have much money when I was growing up.

  10. Most of the project is being paid for by federal monies.

Recent Examples of money from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of money

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

Other Monetary Terms




Definition of money

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

Origin and Etymology of money

see 1money

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.

MONEY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of money for English Language Learners

  • : 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

MONEY Defined for Kids


noun mon·ey \ ˈmə-nē \

Definition of money for Students

plural moneys or monies \-ēz\
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

Law Dictionary


noun mon·ey \ ˈmə-nē \

legal Definition of money

plural moneys; plural monies play \ˈmə-nēz\
1 : an accepted or authorized medium of exchange; especially : coinage or negotiable paper issued as legal tender by a government
2 a : 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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