[dee-val-yoo-ey-shuh n]


an official lowering of the exchange value of a country's currency relative to gold or other currencies.
a reduction of a value, status, etc.

Origin of devaluation

First recorded in 1910–15; devaluate + -ion
Related formsmin·i·de·val·u·a·tion, nounpost·de·val·u·a·tion, adjectivepre·de·val·u·a·tion, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for devaluation

decline, reduction, decrease, write-down, markdown

Examples from the Web for devaluation

Contemporary Examples of devaluation

  • It does no good to goose your manufacturing exports with a devaluation if your manufacturers can't buy raw materials.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Euro Crisis: Reheated

    Megan McArdle

    February 27, 2013

  • Exporters would presumably like that, since it will lead to a devaluation of the shekel.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Fischer King Departs

    Bernard Avishai

    January 31, 2013

  • Inflation in the high-growth economies will change the relative real wages between the counties the same way a devaluation can.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Countdown to Euro Crack-Up

    David Frum

    May 31, 2012

  • Casting him as a Muslim is a convenient—and provocative—form of devaluation in a society which is fearful of Muslims in general.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Ignorant America

    Tunku Varadarajan

    August 30, 2010

  • Unexpected turns in suburban desperation, deception and devaluation.

    The Daily Beast logo
    This Week's Hot Reads

    The Daily Beast

    June 30, 2010

Historical Examples of devaluation

  • Then the day after devaluation, we switch it all back into dollars again.

    The Common Man

    Guy McCord (AKA Dallas McCord Reynolds)

  • Rouble inflation will not fully reflect the devaluation for a long time.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • They erected defensive barricades of self-aggrandizement and of my devaluation.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • Avoid contentions, divisions and animosities, which too frequently terminate in bloodshed and devaluation.

British Dictionary definitions for devaluation



a decrease in the exchange value of a currency against gold or other currencies, brought about by a governmentCompare depreciation (def. 4)
a reduction in value, status, importance, etc
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 devaluation

1898; see de- + valuation. Specific application to currency is from 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

devaluation in Culture


A policy undertaken by a nation to reduce the value of its national currency either in relation to gold or in relation to the currencies of other nations.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.