Definition of dollar in English:



  • The basic monetary unit of the US, Canada, Australia, and certain countries in the Pacific, Caribbean, SE Asia, Africa, and South America.

    • ‘Given the strength of the euro against the dollar, few had expected exports to do so well.’
    • ‘I don't care if this investment comes by way of the dollar, the euro or the yen.’
    • ‘Perhaps that is the reason why no one knows where the billion dollars in aid money went.’
    • ‘To attract dollars to this parched economy, he is forced to open the country to tourism.’
    • ‘Trade too between the two countries is worth many billions of dollars a year.’
    • ‘The Australian dollar is the strongest it has been in years and is likely to remain that way for some time.’
    • ‘The amounts by which they do each of the above are decided in terms of dollars and cents.’
    • ‘They withdrew hundreds of dollars each day and bought the children new bikes for Christmas.’
    • ‘Since the peso and the dollar were worth the same, there seemed to be no risk.’
    • ‘Bargaining with management became a matter of dollars and cents, not life and death.’
    • ‘You wouldn't be able to tell whether a web page costs a penny or a hundred dollars to visit.’
    • ‘It then slashed its funding by around about a half a billion dollars over four years.’
    • ‘My view is that the pound moves more closely with the dollar than with the euro.’
    • ‘Chronic diseases account for billions of dollars in annual medical expenditures.’
    • ‘Does this mean oil prices haven't risen as dramatically in pounds or euros as in dollars?’
    • ‘Six out of every seven dollars of the tax cut will benefit big corporations and a tiny layer of the very wealthy.’
    • ‘It raised six million dollars, the manuscript today being in the Library of Congress.’
    • ‘Go and sponsor him now, and remember to donate in pounds, and not dollars like I did.’
    • ‘Between the three networks, the producers had a budget of three million dollars.’
    • ‘If it costs too much he is likely to sell it for two cents on the dollar in an effort to remedy the error.’


  • dollars to doughnuts

    • informal Used to emphasize one's certainty.

      ‘I'd bet dollars to doughnuts he's a medical student’
      • ‘I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that we are going to see a pick-up in employment in 2004.’
      • ‘I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that we're going to see a pickup in jobs in the next few months.’
      • ‘I'm willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that they had more fun along the way.’
      • ‘When the soap dries again, it is coated with a milky film, and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that it will leave a huge helping of soap scum.’
      • ‘As tuneful as the score is (it's dollars to doughnuts that at least one song will stick in your head for weeks), it's strictly second-tier stuff.’
      • ‘I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that when the vendors are selected and the dust clears, those vendors will have the ability to interrelate the management of both legacy systems and what is coming down the pike in the future.’
      • ‘But those guys didn't go anywhere last year, and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that he won't either.’
      • ‘I would bet you dollars to doughnuts it will be appealed on an expedited basis.’
      • ‘He'll use nicer-sounding words, but dollars to donuts that will be the message.’
      • ‘In fact, I'd lay dollars to donuts that he's the kind of guy who can get away with wearing one.’


From early Flemish or Low German daler, from German T(h)aler, short for Joachimsthaler, a coin from the silver mine of Joachimsthal ( ‘Joachim's valley’), now Jáchymov in the Czech Republic. The term was later applied to a coin used in the Spanish-American colonies, which was also widely used in the British North American colonies at the time of the American War of Independence, hence adopted as the name of the US monetary unit in the late 18th century.