Recent Examples of paper money from the Web
The 7th President of the United States hated paper money.
Excluding the faces of women and people of color from our paper money enforces the perception that only white men are privy to that power.
My dream is to live in a world that operates not only on paper money but on people, time, and reclaiming a set of quickly disappearing life skills.
Granted, with inflation, paper money was getting more and more useless.
There is also a shortage of gas and paper money on the island.
In return for a loan that helped William III finance a war against France, the bank was given the right to issue paper money.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paper money.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of paper money
Financial Definition of PAPER MONEY
What It Is
Paper money is a medium of exchange for goods or services within an economy. It is printed on paper, rather than in coin form.
How It Works
Paper notes are the most generally accepted forms of paper money. In most cases, each country in the world has its own paper money, but in many cases several countries use the same money (such as the Euro or the U.S. dollar). A country's government designs and manufactures that country's paper money.
Some paper money is fiat money, meaning that it has no intrinsic value. That is, the paper 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.
Why It Matters
Most paper 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 this 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 is the only form 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.
PAPER MONEY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of paper money for English Language Learners
: money that is made of paper : money in the form of bills instead of coins
Seen and Heard
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