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Borrowed from Medieval Latin currentia, from Latin currēns, from currō.





currency (countable and uncountable, plural currencies)

  1. Money or other items used to facilitate transactions.
    Wampum was used as a currency by Amerindians.
  2. (more specifically) Paper money.
    • 1943, William Saroyan, chapter 3, in The Human Comedy:
      Spangler went through his pockets, coming out with a handful of small coins, one piece of currency and a hard-boiled egg.
  3. The state of being current; general acceptance, recognition or use.
    The jargon’s currency.
    • 1983 April 9, Kenneth Hale Wehmann, “Conscientious Resistance”, in Gay Community News, page 5:
      Fear of punishment has no currency with me as long as I remain convinced of the larger value of what I have done.
  4. (obsolete) Current value; general estimation; the rate at which anything is generally valued.
    • a. 1627 (date written), Francis [Bacon], “Considerations Touching a VVarre vvith Spaine. []”, in William Rawley, editor, Certaine Miscellany VVorks of the Right Honourable Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount S. Alban. [], London: [] I. Hauiland for Humphrey Robinson, [], published 1629, →OCLC:
      He [] takes greatness of kingdoms according to their bulk and currency, and not after intrinsic value.
    • 1819 July 31, Geoffrey Crayon [pseudonym; Washington Irving], “English Writers on America”, in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., number II, New York, N.Y.: [] C. S. Van Winkle, [], →OCLC, page 112:
      The bare name of Englishman [] too often gave a transient currency to the worthless and ungrateful.
  5. (obsolete) Fluency; readiness of utterance.

Derived terms

Compound words and phrases with this term at the beginning
Compound words and phrases with this term at the end


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See also