nu·​mis·​mat·​ic ˌnü-məz-ˈma-tik How to pronounce numismatic (audio)
: of or relating to numismatics
: of or relating to currency : monetary
numismatically adverb

Did you know?

The first metal coins are believed to have been used as currency by the Lydians, a people of Asia Minor, during the 7th century B.C.E., and it is likely that folks began collecting coins not long after that. The name that we give to the collection of coins today is numismatics, a word that also encompasses the collection of paper money and of medals. The noun numismatics and the adjective numismatic came to English (via French numismatique) from Latin and Greek nomisma, meaning "coin." Nomisma in turn derives from the Greek verb nomizein ("to use") and ultimately from the noun nomos ("custom" or "law"). From these roots we also get numismatist, referring to a person who collects coins, medals, or paper money.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This show presented by Midwest Expos will have coins, currency, cards, tokens, medals, modern and vintage toys and collectibles along with numismatic treasures from vendors from across Michigan. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, 7 Jan. 2023 Eighteen objects, including 11 coins, were ingested (NASDAQ (numismatic and sundry detritus acquired) composite of 18). Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 10 May 2011 Fascinating day of numismatic sleuthing at the wonderful @hunterian museum collection today in Glasgow with Jesper Ericsson and Jacek Olender. Ella Feldman, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Nov. 2022 Their product catalog also includes numismatic, collectible, and premium coins. Laxmi Corp, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 July 2022 It’s also one of the top 10 most expensive coins in numismatic history. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 18 Aug. 2021 In its history, the rarity has graced just four private numismatic collections, including those of Charles A. Watters, Virgil M. Brand, the Childs family and the Pogue family. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 18 Aug. 2021 With the exception of rare numismatic items, the ownership of monetary gold was subject to a fine over $200,000 in today's money. Star Tribune, 24 Dec. 2020 Based solely on the current price of gold per gram, the coins are worth around $52,600 today—but given their historical significance and numismatic merit, the trove’s actual value is likely significantly higher. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Aug. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'numismatic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


French numismatique, from Latin nomismat-, nomisma coin, from Greek, current coin, from nomizein to use, from nomos custom, law — more at nimble

First Known Use

1792, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of numismatic was in 1792


Dictionary Entries Near numismatic

Cite this Entry

“Numismatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Which Came First?

  • baby chick with a brown egg
  • hot take or cold shoulder?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?