noun (1)
ri·​yal | \ rē-ˈyäl How to pronounce riyal (audio) , -ˈyal\
variants: or less commonly

Definition of riyal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


noun (2)

less common spelling of

the basic monetary unit of Iran, Oman, and Yemen — see Money Table

Examples of riyal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Leave riyals for porters and housekeeping, and round up taxi fares. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "The Right Way to Tip All Over the World," 22 May 2019 The cost to the state: more than 50 billion riyals ($13.3 billion), Saud Al-Qahtani, an adviser to the royal court, said on his Twitter account. Bloomberg.com, "Saudi Handouts Show Prince Bet on Citizens After Royal Crackdown," 7 Jan. 2018 The bank, whose policies are dictated by Saudi Arabia, a senior Western official said, started printing vast amounts of new money — at least 600 billion riyals, according to one bank official. Declan Walsh, The Seattle Times, "The tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen," 26 Oct. 2018 The set-top boxes remain easy to find, selling for 350 Saudi riyals ($93) including a one-year subscription in small electronics shops. Margherita Stancati, WSJ, "An Unlikely Victim of Saudi Arabia’s Dispute With Qatar: TV Rights," 6 Sep. 2018 The sources could not provide the total amount paid, but Al-Dahboul said one senior AQAP figure was offered 100,000 Saudi riyals ($26,000) and that about 200 al-Qaida members were paid under the accord. Maggie Michael, Fox News, "Details of deals between US-backed coalition, Yemen al-Qaida," 6 Aug. 2018 Aramco joins some of the kingdom’s largest companies in the decision to temporarily boost wages after King Salman decided to pay Saudi civil servants an extra 1,000 riyals a month to ease the burden of austerity. Bloomberg.com, "Bloomberg," 7 Jan. 2018 The Iranian riyal has plummeted and unemployment is in double digits. Tim Lister, CNN, "The earthquake unleashed by Trump's departure from Iran nuclear deal," 8 May 2018 The Ritz was cleared of detainees in February, after many of the accused agreed to hand over cash or assets that the government has valued at around 400 billion Saudi riyals ($107 billion). Margherita Stancati, WSJ, "Freed Saudi Media Mogul Touts New Business Ties With Government," 17 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of riyal

Noun (1)

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for riyal

Noun (1)

Arabic riyāl, from Spanish real real

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about riyal

Dictionary Entries near riyal







Rizal Day

Statistics for riyal

Last Updated

5 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for riyal

The first known use of riyal was in 1856

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on riyal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with riyal

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about riyal

Comments on riyal

What made you want to look up riyal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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