Definition of lira in English:



  • 1(until the introduction of the euro in 2002) the basic monetary unit of Italy, notionally equal to 100 centesimos.

    • ‘By a different measure, he says Italians and the Portuguese are less bothered about switching to the euro because of the relative under-performance of the lira and escudo.’
    • ‘Prices of drugs are those pertaining in Italy when available, converting the Italian lira at a rate of 1936.27 to the euro.’
    • ‘Mussolini believed that a weak lira looked bad for Italy when he was trying to create the image of a super-power in Europe.’
    • ‘And the recent movements have to be looked at in the way we used to look at movements of the franc and the Deutsche mark and the lira against each other and against the dollar.’
    • ‘Many Italians have opted not to use the euro until the end of February, when the lira will no longer be legal tender.’
    • ‘But the 1973-74 oil price crisis forces out sterling, the Italian lira and French franc under pressure from the dollar.’
    • ‘Italians, once among the most enthusiastic supporters of a united Europe, are becoming increasingly disillusioned, so much so that some are suggesting that Italy dump the euro and bring back the lira.’
    • ‘Perhaps Maroni wants to go back to the lira so that Italy can de-value it.’
    • ‘When the euro went into Italy, the lira suddenly became unpopular with young people.’
    • ‘Western Europe's grand experiment in union will take a dramatic step forward next year, when the 12 members of the euro zone scrap their marks, francs, lire, and pesetas, and adopt euro in their place.’
    • ‘Italy's current economic miseries date approximately from the time when the euro replaced the lira.’
    • ‘The Claimant was sentenced to three years imprisonment and a fine of Italian lire 3 million and costs.’
    • ‘Before the euro, Italy kept its boutique manufacturing base competitive by devaluing the lira as often as necessary.’
    • ‘In Italy, he has earned the derision of the French press for sending all citizens a personal letter and a free calculator to convert lire to euros, at a cost of 10 million of the latter to the public purse.’
    • ‘The following day the Italian lira also had to leave the mechanism.’
    • ‘Many retailers held off on upgrading their fiscal printers until they could obtain equipment that was euro-compliant - switching from lire to euros means more than shifting the decimal point a few places to the right.’
    • ‘‘And of course,’ he said with a laugh, ‘the fact that guardsmen are now paid in euros rather than Italian lire.’’
    • ‘Currency risk within the euro zone is gone: no need to hedge the lira against the franc, for example.’
    • ‘In 16 days the euro will be introduced in 12 European countries, and francs, lire, pesetas and the like will be a thing of the past.’
    • ‘When an Italian politician proposed that Italy should exit the euro area and return to the lira, specialists just laughed.’
  • 2The basic monetary unit of Turkey, equal to 100 kurus.

    • ‘The dollar has taken a hit against almost every major world currency including the British pound, Canadian dollar and Japanese yen, as well as some minor ones like the Turkish lira, Thai baht, and Australian dollar.’
    • ‘Since Turkey plunged into a deep economic crisis in February the lira has plummeted around 60 percent against the dollar.’
    • ‘Turkey gave up its defence of the lira last week, leaving the currency to drop by a third in just two days and leaving 65 million Turks facing serious inflationary problems and sharply reduced spending power.’
    • ‘The bill from the hotel came to 1644 Turkish lira followed by six noughts.’
    • ‘The men who found those goods sold them to an antiquities smuggler for 65,000 Turkish lira.’
    • ‘The national monetary unit is the Turkish lira.’
    • ‘At least 20 top City institutions are getting their whopping Christmas bonuses paid in Turkish lire.’


Italian, from Provençal liura, from Latin libra ‘pound’.