Meaning of “exchange” in the English Dictionary

"exchange" in English

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uk /ɪksˈtʃeɪndʒ/ us /ɪksˈtʃeɪndʒ/

exchange noun (GIVING AND GETTING)

B1 [ C or U ] the act of giving something to someone and them giving you something else:

an exchange of ideas/information
They were given food and shelter in exchange for work.
She proposes an exchange of contracts at two o'clock.
Several people were killed during the exchange of gunfire.

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exchange noun (STUDENTS)

B1 [ C ] an arrangement in which students from one country go to stay with students from another country:

Are you going on the French exchange this year?
a German exchange student

exchange noun (STOCK EXCHANGE)

exchangeverb [ T ]

uk /ɪksˈtʃeɪndʒ/ us /ɪksˈtʃeɪndʒ/

B1 to give something to someone and receive something from that person:

It's traditional for the two teams to exchange shirts after the game.
Every month the group meets so its members can exchange their views/opinions (= have a discussion).
We exchanged greetings before the meeting.
We can exchange addresses when we see each other.
Exchanging houses (= going to live in someone else's house while they live in yours) for a few weeks is a good way of having a holiday.

to take something back to a shop where it was bought and get something else instead:

If you don't like the gift, you can exchange it.
I exchanged those trousers for a larger size.

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adjective uk /ɪksˈtʃeɪn.dʒə.bəl/ us /ɪksˈtʃeɪn.dʒə.bəl/

Goods are exchangeable as long as they are returned in good condition.


(Definition of “exchange” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"exchange" in American English

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exchangeverb [ T ]

us /ɪksˈtʃeɪndʒ/

to change something for something else of a similar value or type:

This shirt is too small – can I exchange it for one in a larger size?
Before we left the meeting, she and I exchanged phone numbers (= I told her mine and she told me hers).

exchangenoun [ C/U ]

us /ɪksˈtʃeɪndʒ/

the act of giving something to someone and getting something else that is similar:

[ C ] an exchange of ideas
[ C ] an exchange of prisoners

(Definition of “exchange” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"exchange" in Business English

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uk /ɪksˈtʃeɪndʒ/ us

[ C ] a place or organization where shares, currencies, commodities, etc. are bought and sold:

Exchanges in France and Germany rose by about 2%.
As the demand for a stock rises and falls on the exchange, the price for the stock will fluctuate.

[ U ] MONEY, FINANCE the process of changing one currency for another:

We offer commission-free exchange at our UK ports.
exchange of sth Deregulation prevented any barrier to the free exchange of currencies.

[ C or U ] an occasion when you give or return something to someone and they give you something else:

If an item is faulty you are guaranteed a refund or an exchange.
exchange of sth You may request an exchange of any or all of your shares into another mutual fund in the group.

[ C ] an agreement in which two people or groups visit each other's home, place of work, or place of study for a short time in order to learn more about them:

on an exchange There will be the opportunity to visit Germany on an exchange.
an exchange programme/visit/scheme

[ C or U ] COMMUNICATIONS an occasion when one person communicates with another, and the other person replies:

There was an angry exchange at the meeting.
The e-mail exchange between them was released to the court along with other documents.
in exchange (for sth)

given because of something that has been given to you:

There's no doubt that stocks carry risk, and reward you with the chance of higher returns in exchange.
The group sold half of its London casino business in exchange for shares.


uk /ɪksˈtʃeɪndʒ/ us

[ T ] to give or return something to someone and receive something from them:

They shook hands and exchanged business cards.
If the goods are faulty you should be able to exchange them.
exchange sth for sth Under these schemes, shareholdings can be exchanged for units in a unit trust.

[ T ] FINANCE to change one currency into another:

exchange sth for sth In this way we will save on the costs of exchanging euro for sterling and vice versa.
exchange sth into sth Larger hotels will exchange dollars into local currency.

[ T ] COMMUNICATIONS to communicate with someone who then replies:

We exchanged a few words before the meeting began.
exchange sth with sb Users can create pages with photos and personal information, and exchange e-mail with other users.

[ I or T ] UK PROPERTY to sign a legal document with the person you are buying property from as the last part of the process of buying it:

When you exchange, you must satisfy yourself that you are happy with the condition of the home you are moving into before you move.
We hope to exchange contracts next week.

(Definition of “exchange” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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