General English


  • noun the unit of currency used in the USA and other countries, such as Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Brunei, Canada, Fiji, Hong Kong, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore and Zimbabwe. Without specific mention of a country, it usually refers to the currency of the USA.


  • noun a unit of money used in the United States and other countries

Origin & History of “dollar”

English originally acquired the word dollar in the form doler; this was the Low German form of German taler, a large silver coin in use in the German states from the 16th century. The word was short for Joachimstaler, literally ‘of Joachim’s valley’, and is a reference to the fact that silver from which the coins were made was mined near Joachimstal (modern Jachymov) in the Erzgebirge mountains, Czech republic. By around 1700 the spelling dollar had become fairly standard, and in 1785 the term was formally adopted for the main unit of currency in the USA. It has since been taken up by over thirty countries around the world.