noun (1)
ri·​yal | \rē-ˈyäl, -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

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 On his Twitter account, royal court adviser Saud Al Qahtani said the measures will cost the government more than 50 billion riyals and called for private sector companies to respond in turn. Bloomberg.com, "Bloomberg," 7 Jan. 2018 But the statement released Tuesday said the government had claimed about 400 billion Saudi riyals, or $106.6 billion, so far. Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "Saudi Arabia Says Detainees Handed Over More Than $100 Billion," 30 Jan. 2018 After complaints about rising prices, King Salman ordered a handout worth more than 50 billion riyals ($13.3 billion) to support many ordinary Saudis, helped by a rise in Brent oil prices to about $70 a barrel. Vivian Nereim, Bloomberg.com, "Saudis Raise Allowances for Some Royals After Purge," 1 Feb. 2018 Aramco paid 20 million Saudi riyals, or about $5.3 million, to the contractor to settle the dispute, according to a person familiar with the matter. Bradley Hope, WSJ, "World’s Biggest Oil Company Promised Expats Idyllic Lifestyle—Then Fire Erupted," 28 Sep. 2017 The cash will help reduce the country’s budget deficit, which the Saudi finance ministry said would come in at nearly 200 billion Saudi riyals ($53 billion) this year. Nicolas Parasie, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Sells $12.5 Billion of Bonds," 27 Sep. 2017

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.

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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

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The first known use of riyal was in 1856

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to express warning or disapproval

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