1. a piece of metal stamped and issued by the authority of a government for use as money.
  2. a number of such pieces.
  3. Informal. money; cash: He's got plenty of coin in the bank.
  4. Architecture. quoin(defs 1, 2).
  5. Archaic. a corner cupboard of the 18th century.
  1. operated by, or containing machines operated by, inserting a coin or coins into a slot: a coin laundry.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make (coinage) by stamping metal: The mint is coining pennies.
  2. to convert (metal) into coinage: The mint used to coin gold into dollars.
  3. to make; invent; fabricate: to coin an expression.
  4. Metalworking. to shape the surface of (metal) by squeezing between two dies.Compare emboss(def 3).
verb (used without object)
  1. British Informal. to counterfeit, especially to make counterfeit money.
  1. coin money, Informal. to make or gain money rapidly: Those who own stock in that restaurant chain are coining money.
  2. pay someone back in his/her own coin, to reciprocate or behave toward in a like way, especially inamicably; retaliate: If they persist in teasing you, pay them back in their own coin.
  3. the other side of the coin, the other side, aspect, or point of view; alternative consideration.

Origin of coin

1300–50; Middle English coyn(e), coygne < Anglo-French; Middle French coin, cuigne wedge, corner, die < Latin cuneus wedge
Related formscoin·a·ble, adjectivecoin·er, nounmis·coin, verbre·coin, verb (used with object)un·coined, adjectivewell-coined, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for coining

Contemporary Examples of coining

  • Pele, by the way, is often given credit for coining the phrase O Jogo Bonito—the Beautiful Game.

  • But time will remember him most vividly for coining the term “sack,” as in “sacking the quarterback,” which he did a lot.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Deaths You Missed This Year

    Malcolm Jones, Jimmy So, Michael Moynihan, Caitlin Dickson

    December 30, 2013

  • According to Emily Hauser, our coining of the phrase “Jew-washing” was disingenuous and part of a nefarious “McCarthy-esque” plot.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Debate on Jew-Washing—Beyond Ideology

    Gerald M. Steinberg, Yitzhak Santis

    August 13, 2012

Historical Examples of coining

British Dictionary definitions for coining


  1. a metal disc or piece used as money
  2. metal currency, as opposed to securities, paper currency, etcRelated adjective: nummary
  3. architect a variant spelling of quoin
  4. pay a person back in his own coin to treat a person in the way that he has treated others
  5. the other side of the coin the opposite view of a matter
  1. (tr) to make or stamp (coins)
  2. (tr) to make into a coin
  3. (tr) to fabricate or invent (words, etc)
  4. (tr) informal to make (money) rapidly (esp in the phrase coin it in)
  5. to coin a phrase said ironically after one uses a cliché
Derived Formscoinable, adjectivecoiner, noun

Word Origin for coin

C14: from Old French: stamping die, from Latin cuneus wedge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for coining



c.1300, "a wedge," from Old French coing (12c.) "a wedge; stamp; piece of money; corner, angle," from Latin cuneus "a wedge." The die for stamping metal was wedge-shaped, and the English word came to mean "thing stamped, a piece of money" by late 14c. (a sense that already had developed in French). Cf. quoin, which split off from this word 16c. Modern French coin is "corner, angle, nook." Coins were first struck in western Asia Minor in 7c. B.C.E.; Greek tradition and Herodotus credit the Lydians with being first to make and use coins of silver and gold.



"to coin money," mid-14c., from coin (n.). Related: Coined; coining. To coin a phrase is late 16c. A Middle English word for minter was coin-smiter.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with coining


In addition to the idiom beginning with coin

  • coin money

also see:

  • other side of the coin
  • pay back (in someone's own coin)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.