American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Legally valid currency that may be offered in payment of a debt and that a creditor must accept.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- That can be lawfully used in paying a debt: as, legal-tender currency; legal-tender money, See tender.
- n. law Any form of currency that by law cannot be refused as payment to extinguish a debt equal to the amount offered.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. That currency, or money, which the law authorizes a debtor to tender and requires a creditor to receive. It differs in different countries.
- n. See under Legal.
- n. something that can be used as an official medium of payment
“That five of these aurei were the legal tender for a pound of silver, and that consequently the pound of gold was exchanged for fourteen pounds eight ounces of silver, according to the Roman, or about thirteen pounds according to the English weight.”
“The "greenbacks," pronounced legal tender by the republican government, were of course unequal in real value to specie payments, and I lost very considerably on the payment in paper of a sum of money I had lent to a friend, whose executors after his death so returned what I had given in gold.”
“No.X. At a time when at serious and unimpassioned discussion would be heeded, other considerations of a more general nature would be deemed very potent obstacles in the way of those who would engraft the power of Congress to constitute its paper money a legal tender in payment of debts, upon the clause of the Constitution delegating the authority to use auxiliary means, "necessary and proper" to carry into effect primary, specified powers.”
“The" bill called for the inspection and bonding at public warehouses of all tobacco shipped abroad; for the destruction of all unacceptable tobacco; for standardization of the size of hogsheads ...; for maintenance of detailed records to prevent smuggling; and for the circulation of warehouse receipts as legal tender in lieu of tobacco iteself .... ”
“Veratius ran through the streets striking on the face the inoffensive passengers, and his attendant purse-bearer immediately silenced their clamors by the legal tender of twenty-five pieces of copper, about the value of one shilling.”
“My proposition is distinctly this: That by the Constitutions of the quondam United States and of the Confederate States, no government, State or Federal, can make anything but gold and silver current coin MONEY; that neither government can make anything else a legal tender in payment of debts; no matter whether or not either or both governments may emit "bills of credit.”
“Early in the present session of Congress (I quote from the newspaper reporters of Richmond), "Mr. Gartrell, of Georgia, offered a bill making Treasury notes a legal tender in payment of debts.”
“Amend by striking out all after the word "requested" and insert "to urge before Congress the passage of a law that will retire from circulation the present outstanding Treasury notes, and provide for the issuance of Treasury notes, or other evidences of debt, which shall be declared a legal tender in the payment of debts,”
“When the republicans came into power, and that paper money ( "greenbacks," as they were called) were pronounced legal tender by the government, a payment due to me was proffered in that form.”
“The States were prohibited to make anything but "specie" a legal tender without the consent of Congress.”
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