dol·​lar ˈdä-lər How to pronounce dollar (audio)
often attributive
: taler
: any of numerous coins patterned after the taler (such as a Spanish peso)
: any of various basic monetary units (as in the U.S. and Canada) see Money Table
: a coin, note, or token representing one dollar
: money obtained from a specific source
the tourism dollar

Did you know?

In the mountains of Bohemia is the small town of Jáchymov. In the early 16th century, the town was known by its German name, Sankt Joachimstal. At that time, a silver mine was opened nearby, and coins were minted to which the name joachimstaler was applied. In German this was shortened to Taler. Shortly afterward the Dutch or Low German form daler was borrowed into English to refer to the Taler and other coins that were patterned after it, such as the Spanish peso, which circulated widely in Britain’s North American colonies. Our modern word dollar is a different spelling of this daler. When the newly independent American colonies settled on an official monetary unit in 1785, they chose the name dollar.

Example Sentences

She had to pay hundreds of dollars in auto repairs. She put a wrinkled dollar down on the counter. The dollar dropped sharply against the pound. the strength of the dollar The dollar is worth more in Mexico.
Recent Examples on the Web This multi-million dollar grant is thanks to the $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed into law by President Biden in late 2021. Natallie Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Mar. 2023 As with O’Reilly and Ailes, what might succeed in silencing the network’s worst instincts will be what’s been its kryptonite all along: the almighty dollar. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2023 As of the end of March, individual account holders on Payward Inc.’s Kraken platform will no longer be able to make dollar deposits or withdrawals via Signature. Caitlin Ostroff, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2023 Women in the same age group without children earned 97 cents on the man’s dollar. Aaron Gregg And Jacob Bogage, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Mar. 2023 Women in the same age group without children earned 97 cents on the man’s dollar. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2023 There are additional Medicare charges for high earners, but setting these aside, this is a 15 percent tax on the very first dollar earned. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 27 Feb. 2023 Editor’s picks Video games have grown into a multi-billion-dollar business, and the advancement of their technology reflects that. Sonya Alexander, Rolling Stone, 26 Feb. 2023 According to an indictment that was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn yesterday (Feb. 23), the company and its executives have been running a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 24 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Dutch or Low German daler, from German Taler, short for Joachimstaler, from Sankt Joachimsthal, Bohemia, where talers were first made

First Known Use

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dollar was in 1553

Dictionary Entries Near dollar

Cite this Entry

“Dollar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


dol·​lar ˈdäl-ər How to pronounce dollar (audio)
: a coin (as a Spanish peso) similar to an earlier German silver coin
: a basic unit of money (as of the U.S. and Canada)
: a coin or bill representing one dollar

from Dutch daler "silver coin formerly used in Germany," from German Taler (same meaning), shortened from Joachimstaler "a coin made in Sankt Joachimsthal (Saint Joachim's Valley) in Bohemia (a former kingdom in Europe)"

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