Definition of demonetize in English:


(also demonetise)


  • Deprive (a coin or precious metal) of its status as money.

    ‘coins minted with the name and portrait of Emperor Caligula were demonetized after his death’
    • ‘In the United States, the Coinage Act of 1873 officially demonetized silver, legally confirming a gold-based currency that - because of silver's relatively high price - was already the de facto standard.’
    • ‘If gold was really to be demonetized, then the enormous stocks relative to flows would have to be dissipated first through consumption.’
    • ‘They have, at least temporarily, demonetized Federal Reserve Notes,, by substituting chips.’
    • ‘It is not up to the governments to monetize or demonetize a commodity.’
    • ‘But by 4 February 1797, when the mandates were officially demonetized, the revolutionary experiment with paper money was at an end.’
    • ‘By 1908, however, silver had effectively been demonetized in Europe, and, although a number of countries could not offer full convertibility, in practice exchange rates were fixed in gold terms.’
    • ‘There's talk of demonetizing the penny altogether.’


Mid 19th century: from French démonétiser, from dé- (expressing reversal) + Latin moneta money.