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noun (1)

ri·​al rē-ˈȯl How to pronounce rial (audio)
variants or less commonly
the basic monetary unit of Iran, Oman, and Yemen see Money Table


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noun (2)


less common spelling of riyal

the basic monetary unit of Qatar and Saudi Arabia see Money Table

Examples of rial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Zahra, a 65-year-old housewife and grandmother, said a kilogram (just over 2 pounds) of beef currently costs 7 million rials (about $11), which is expensive for a household that only earns 100 million rials (about $150) per month. Somayeh Malekian, ABC News, 18 Apr. 2024 Since then, it's fallen from 32,000 rials to the dollar to the hundreds of thousands. Amir Vahdat, Quartz, 24 Mar. 2024 On Sunday, people were trying to exchange rials for foreign currency at Tehran's main hub of exchange shops in Ferdowsi Street, but most were closed due to the Nowruz holidays, which are run from March 20 to April 2. Amir Vahdat, Quartz, 24 Mar. 2024 At the time of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, the exchange rate was 32,000 rials for $1. Nasser Karimi, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Feb. 2024 In the wake of the drone attack in Jordan that killed three US Army soldiers and injured more than 30 other service members, Iran’s currency fell from nearly 500,000 rials against the US dollar in early January, to more than 580,000 by January 29. Rosa Rahimi, CNN, 28 Feb. 2024 Iranian media attributed the sharp drop in the value of the rial to the escalation of regional conflicts. Rosa Rahimi, CNN, 28 Feb. 2024 Inflation is alarmingly high, with the national currency, the rial, consistently losing value, which in turn diminishes the purchasing power of the public. Susanna Hoffman, National Review, 9 Jan. 2024 Iran’s currency, the rial, has lost two-thirds of its value in the last six months, much of it after the United States formally withdrew from the nuclear agreement in May. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Foreign Affairs, 25 Sep. 2018

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Persian, from Arabic riyāl riyal

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rial was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near rial

Cite this Entry

“Rial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rial. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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