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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Money in any form when in actual use as a medium of exchange, especially circulating paper money.
  • n. Transmission from person to person as a medium of exchange; circulation: coins now in currency.
  • n. General acceptance or use; prevalence: the currency of a slang term.
  • n. The state of being current; up-to-dateness: Can you check the currency of this address?

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Money or other items used to facilitate transactions.
  • n. Paper money.
  • n. The state of being current; general acceptance or recognition.
  • n. fluency; readiness of utterance
  • n. Current value; general estimation; the rate at which anything is generally valued.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A continued or uninterrupted course or flow like that of a stream.
  • n. The state or quality of being current; general acceptance or reception; a passing from person to person, or from hand to hand; circulation.
  • n. That which is in circulation, or is given and taken as having or representing value.
  • n. Fluency; readiness of utterance.
  • n. Current value; general estimation; the rate at which anything is generally valued.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A flowing, running, or passing; a continued or uninterrupted course, like that of a stream.
  • n. A continued course in public knowledge, opinion, or belief; the state or fact of being communicated in speech or writing from person to person, or from age to age: as, a startling rumor gained currency.
  • n. A continual passing from hand to hand; circulation: as, the currency of coins or of banknotes.
  • n. Fluency; readiness of utterance.
  • n. General estimation; the rate at which anything is generally valued.
  • n. That which is current as a medium of exchange; that which is in general use as money or as a representative of value: as, the currency of a country.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the metal or paper medium of exchange that is presently used
  • n. the property of belonging to the present time
  • n. general acceptance or use


From Middle English curraunt, in circulation; see current.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin currentia, from Latin currens, from currō. (Wiktionary)


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  • Although the term "currency board" is somewhat contemporary, the Bank of England used this mechanism to manage its gold standard system in the 18th century. News

  • The phrase "currency board linked to gold" drives some hard-money advocates batty.

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  • Oddly, the vision I have of the newly divorced woman flinging herself onto a bed covered in currency is not born out by the figures.

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  • Brazil's sharp-tongued Finance Minister Guido Mantega quickly became an international sensation when he coined the phrase "currency wars" to refer to excessive currency manipulation in these times of high volatility and dollar debasement. News

  • Mantega coined the phrase "currency wars" - AFP/Getty Images via @daylife News

  • Though Kerouac and Ginsberg each sought to elevate the term "Beat Generation" into something "beatific," John Clellon Holmes, who gave the term currency in a 1952 article, paraphrased Kerouac saying, "It involves a sort of nakedness of mind, and ultimately, of soul," a feeling of being beaten down to the bedrock of consciousness. - News

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