legal tender

currency that may be lawfully tendered in payment of a debt, such as paper money, Federal Reserve notes, or coins.

1730–40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
legal tender
currency in specified denominations that a creditor must by law accept in redemption of a debt

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

legal tender definition

Any form of money that a government decrees must be accepted in payment of debts.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
For starters, abolish legal tender laws and permit some combination of
  commodities to serve as money.
TV and computer screens were alight, airplanes were aloft and cash machines
  were dispensing legal tender.
Travelers checks can be used as legal tender at many businesses, and you will
  receive change in the local currency.
While it's all legal tender, it can be quite confusing.
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