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

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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.

Examples of numismatic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This set epitomizes the pinnacle of American numismatic beauty and historical significance, aligning perfectly with the company's mission to offer unparalleled hard assets to its global clients. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 6 Feb. 2024 Heritage Auctions, the world’s largest numismatic auctioneer, sold one of the No-P dimes for $545 in 2005. Robert Higgs, cleveland, 23 Aug. 2023 Double Eagle would be an important numismatic event. Amaris Encinas, USA TODAY, 14 July 2023 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

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

Word History


borrowed from French numismatique, going back to Middle French, from Late Latin numismat-, numisma "coin, coinage," alteration (by association with Latin nummus "coin") of Latin nomismat-, nomisma (borrowed from Greek nomismat-, nómisma "custom, ritual, standard measure, coinage, currency," derivative, with the resultative suffix -mat-, -ma, of nomízein "to use, observe [a custom], make customary," from nómos "custom, convention, law" + -izein -ize) + Middle French, French -ique -ic entry 1 — more at nomothetic

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 18 Jun. 2024.

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