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noun (1)

ri·​yal rē-ˈyäl How to pronounce riyal (audio)
variants or less commonly
the basic monetary unit of Qatar and Saudi Arabia see Money Table


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noun (2)


less common spelling of rial

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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Fans breaching these rules could be subject to deportation or fines of up to 3,000 riyal ($823), though how much authorities enforce such laws during the tournament remains a question-mark. Armani Syed, Time, 18 Nov. 2022 Some 80% of global oil sales are priced in U.S. dollars, the yuan is not freely convertible as a reserve currency must be, and Saudi Arabia’s currency, the riyal, is pegged to the dollar. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 For one, Saudi Arabia pegs its riyal to the dollar, so any damage inadvertently dealt to the dollar will hurt its own currency. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 17 Mar. 2022 Aramco shares currently trade at around 35.80 Saudi riyal each ($9.55), valuing the company at $1.9 trillion. Hanna Ziady, CNN, 28 Apr. 2021 Alongside the Uzbek deal, that has included large deals in Chilean peso, Dominican peso, Croatian kuna and Saudi riyal, among others. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, 22 Dec. 2020 The spread between the Saudi riyal interbank rate and the same rate for dollars has also been narrowing. Abbas Al Lawati, Bloomberg.com, 20 Dec. 2020 Although pressure intensified earlier this year with the collapse in crude prices, 12-month dollar-forwards for the Saudi riyal have since stabilized. Paul Abelsky, Bloomberg.com, 21 Nov. 2020 The implied stability allowed officials to maintain the Saudi riyal’s peg to the dollar and demonstrate the kingdom’s financial strength... Stephen Kalin, WSJ, 31 May 2020 See More

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.

Word History


Noun (1)

Arabic riyāl, from Spanish real real

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1856, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of riyal was in 1856

Dictionary Entries Near riyal

Cite this Entry

“Riyal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/riyal. Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the basic unit of money of Qatar and Saudi Arabia
: a bill representing one riyal

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