verb (used with object), ex·changed, ex·chang·ing.

  1. to give up (something) for something else; part with for some equivalent; change for another.
  2. to replace (returned merchandise) with an equivalent or something else: Most stores will allow the purchaser to exchange goods.
  3. to give and receive reciprocally; interchange: to exchange blows; to exchange gifts.
  4. to part with in return for some equivalent; transfer for a recompense; barter: to exchange goods with foreign countries.
  5. Chess. to capture (an enemy piece) in return for a capture by the opponent generally of pieces of equal value.

verb (used without object), ex·changed, ex·chang·ing.

  1. to make an exchange; engage in bartering, replacing, or substituting one thing for another.
  2. to pass or be taken in exchange or as an equivalent.


  1. the act, process, or an instance of exchanging: The contesting nations arranged for an exchange of prisoners; money in exchange for services.
  2. something that is given or received in exchange or substitution for something else: The car was a fair exchange.
  3. a place for buying and selling commodities, securities, etc., typically open only to members.
  4. a central office or central station: a telephone exchange.
  5. the method or system by which debits and credits in different places are settled without the actual transfer of money, by means of bills of exchange representing money values.
  6. the discharge of obligations in different places by the transfer of credits.
  7. the amount or percentage charged for exchanging money, collecting a draft, etc.
  8. the reciprocal transfer of equivalent sums of money, as in the currencies of two different countries.
  9. the giving or receiving of a sum of money in one place for a bill ordering the payment of an equivalent sum in another.
  10. exchange rate.
  11. the amount of the difference in value between two or more currencies, or between the values of the same currency at two or more places.
  12. the checks, drafts, etc., exchanged at a clearinghouse.
  13. Chess. a reciprocal capture of pieces of equivalent value by opponents in a single series of moves.


  1. (tr) to give up, part with, or transfer (one thing) for an equivalentto exchange gifts; to exchange francs for dollars
  2. (tr) to give and receive (information, ideas, etc); interchange
  3. (tr) to replace (one thing) with another, esp to replace unsatisfactory goods
  4. to transfer or hand over (goods) in return for the equivalent value in kind rather than in money; barter; trade
  5. (tr) chess to capture and surrender (pieces, usually of the same value) in a single sequence of moves


  1. the act or process of exchanging
    1. anything given or received as an equivalent, replacement, or substitute for something else
    2. (as modifier)an exchange student
  2. an argument or quarrel; altercationthe two men had a bitter exchange
  3. Also called: telephone exchange a switching centre in which telephone lines are interconnected
    1. a place where securities or commodities are sold, bought, or traded, esp by brokers or merchantsa stock exchange; a corn exchange
    2. (as modifier)an exchange broker
    1. the system by which commercial debts between parties in different places are settled by commercial documents, esp bills of exchange, instead of by direct payment of money
    2. the percentage or fee charged for accepting payment in this manner
  4. a transfer or interchange of sums of money of equivalent value, as between different national currencies or different issues of the same currency
  5. (often plural) the cheques, drafts, bills, etc, exchanged or settled between banks in a clearing house
  6. chess the capture by both players of pieces of equal value, usually on consecutive moves
  7. lose the exchange chess to lose a rook in return for a bishop or knight
  8. win the exchange chess to win a rook in return for a bishop or knight
  9. med another word for transfusion (def. 2)
  10. physics a process in which a particle is transferred between two nucleons, such as the transfer of a meson between two nucleons

late 14c., “act of reciprocal giving and receiving,” from Anglo-French eschaunge, Old French eschange (Modern French échange), from Late Latin excambium, from excambiare, from Latin ex- “out” (see ex-) + cambire “barter” (see change). Practice of merchants or lenders meeting to exchange bills of debt led to meaning “building for mercantile business” (1580s).


late 15c., from Old French eschangier “exchange, barter,” from Vulgar Latin *excambiare (source of Italian scambiare); see exchange (n.). Related: Exchanged; exchanging.


  1. To substitute one thing for another.


  1. The act of substituting one thing for another.

see in exchange.

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