• synonyms


[leer-uh; Italian lee-rah]
noun, plural li·re [leer-ey; Italian lee-re] /ˈlɪər eɪ; Italian ˈli rɛ/, li·ras.
  1. a coin and monetary unit of Italy until the euro was adopted, equal to 100 centesimi. Abbreviation: L., Lit.
  2. a monetary unit of Malta, San Marino, and the Vatican City until the euro was adopted.
  3. a silver, bronze, or chrome steel coin and monetary unit of Turkey, equal to 100 kurus; equal to 100 piasters before 1933; Turkish pound. Abbreviation: TL.
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Origin of lira

1610–20; < Italian < Old Provençal lieura < Latin lībra pound
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lira

Contemporary Examples of lira

Historical Examples of lira

  • O'Mally handed him the exact amount, minus the lira for the button.

    The Lure of the Mask

    Harold MacGrath

  • I wanted a little to take with me, for my purse hasn't a lira in it; but, no!

  • It took him two days, and cost him several hundred lira for guides.

    Many Fronts

    Lewis R. Freeman

  • And to her amazement, Lira's brother held out the magic castanets.

    The Little Spanish Dancer

    Madeline Brandeis

  • Lira did not feel the spell of night that had settled upon the rest of the world.

    The Little Spanish Dancer

    Madeline Brandeis

British Dictionary definitions for lira


noun plural lire (ˈlɪərɪ, Italian ˈliːre) or liras
  1. the former standard monetary unit of Italy, San Marino, and the Vatican City, divided into 100 centesimi; replaced by the euro in 2002
  2. Also called: pound the standard monetary unit of Turkey, divided into 100 kuruş
  3. the former standard monetary unit of Malta, divided into 100 cents or 1000 mils; replaced by the euro in 2008
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Word Origin for lira

Italian, from Latin lībra pound
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 lira


Italian monetary unit, 1610s, from Italian lira, literally "pound," from Latin libra (see Libra).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper