To trade one thing for another thing. Typically, both sides in an exchange receive something of value. An exchange (noun) is a place where things are traded for other things, such as money, merchandise, stocks or other items of greater or lesser value.

Exchange rates are yet another bit of universal stupidity, without which no capitalist society can exist, but which very few living beings can understand fully.

To swap or trade.

Also, a telephone company's rate center. Usually towns have their own exchanges, some larger cities have several exchanges in different geographic parts of the city. An exchange consists of a central office which serves any number of telephone subscribers as well as the wiring plant, and the subscribers within that exchange. Usually, exchanges have their own unique prefix(es), the 3-digit number that precedes your telephone number's suffix. See rate center.

A unit of material value in chess, the "exchange" is the difference in value between a rook and a minor piece (i.e., a bishop or knight). For example, to swap a minor piece for the opponent's rook is to "win the exchange"; to capture a protected knight with one's rook (a common tactic to destroy the enemy king's pawn cover) is to make an "exchange sacrifice".

KANJI: KOU ma(jiru) (exchange, mix, mingle)

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Character Etymology:

From a pictograph of a person sitting with crossed legs. Crossing gave rise to various extended meanings such as intermingle, mix, change, and exchange.

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: KOU
kun-yomi: maji(waru) maji(eru) ma(jiru) maji(ru) ma(zaru) ma(zeru) -ka(u) ka(wasu) kawa(su) komogomo kata

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: kata

English Definitions:

  1. KOU: coming and going; association; change of seasons.
  2. maji(waru), maji(ru): associate with, mingle with; interest; join.
  3. maji(eru): mix; converse with, cross (swords).
  4. ma(zeru): mix, blend, mingle; include.
  5. ma(jiru): vi be mixed, be blended; mingle with.
  6. kawa(su): exchange (messages); dodge, parry, avoid, turn aside.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 90
Henshall: 115

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

(gaikou): diplomacy.
交通 (koutsuu): traffic.
交響楽団 (koukyougakudan): symphony (orchestra)


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Ex*change" (?), n. [OE. eschange, eschaunge, OF. eschange, fr. eschangier, F. 'echanger, to exchange; pref. ex- out + F. changer. See Change, and cf. Excamb.]


The act of giving or taking one thing in return for another which is regarded as an equivalent; as, an exchange of cattle for grain.


The act of substituting one thing in the place of another; as, an exchange of grief for joy, or of a scepter for a sword, and the like; also, the act of giving and receiving reciprocally; as, an exchange of civilities or views.


The thing given or received in return; esp., a publication exchanged for another.


4. Com.

The process of setting accounts or debts between parties residing at a distance from each other, without the intervention of money, by exchanging orders or drafts, called bills of exchange. These may be drawn in one country and payable in another, in which case they are called foreign bills; or they may be drawn and made payable in the same country, in which case they are called inland bills. The term bill of exchange is often abbreviated into exchange; as, to buy or sell exchange.

⇒ A in London is creditor to B in New York, and C in London owes D in New York a like sum. A in London draws a bill of exchange on B in New York; C in London purchases the bill, by which A receives his debt due from B in New York. C transmits the bill to D in New York, who receives the amount from B.

5. Law

A mutual grant of equal interests, the one in consideration of the other. Estates exchanged must be equal in quantity, as fee simple for fee simple.



The place where the merchants, brokers, and bankers of a city meet at certain hours, to transact business. In this sense often contracted to 'Change.

Arbitration of exchange. See under Arbitration. -- Bill of exchange. See under Bill. -- Exchange broker. See under Broker. -- Par of exchange, the established value of the coin or standard of value of one country when expressed in the coin or standard of another, as the value of the pound sterling in the currency of France or the United States. The par of exchange rarely varies, and serves as a measure for the rise and fall of exchange that is affected by the demand and supply. Exchange is at par when, for example, a bill in New York, for the payment of one hundred pounds sterling in London, can be purchased for the sum. Exchange is in favor of a place when it can be purchased there at or above par. -- Telephone exchange, a central office in which the wires of any two telephones or telephone stations may be connected to permit conversation.

Syn. -- Barter; dealing; trade; traffic; interchange.


© Webster 1913.

Ex*change", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Exchanged (?);p. pr. & vb. n. Exchanging (?).] [Cf.OF. eschangier, F. 'echanger. See Exchange, n.]


To part with give, or transfer to another in consideration of something received as an equivalent; -- usually followed by for before the thing received.

Exchange his sheep for shells, or wool for a sparking pebble or a diamond. Locke.


To part with for a substitute; to lay aside, quit, or resign (something being received in place of the thing with); as, to exchange a palace for cell.

And death for life exchanged foolishly. Spenser.

To shift his being Is to exchange one misery with another. Shak.


To give and receive reciprocally, as things of the same kind; to barter; to swap; as, to exchange horses with a neighbor; to exchange houses or hats.

Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet. Shak.

Syn. -- To barter; change; commute; interchange; bargain; truck; swap; traffic.


© Webster 1913.

Ex*change", v. i.

To be changed or received in exchange for; to pass in exchange; as, dollar exchanges for ten dimes.


© Webster 1913.

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