AskDefine | Define lira

Dictionary Definition



1 the basic unit of money on Malta; equal to 100 cents [syn: Maltese lira]
2 the basic unit of money in Turkey [syn: Turkish lira]
3 formerly the basic unit of money in Italy; equal to 100 centesimi [syn: Italian lira] [also: lire (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary




lira (plural lire)
  1. The basic unit of currency in Turkey.
  2. The former currency of Italy, Malta, San Marino and the Vatican City, superseded by the euro.
  3. The former currency of Israel, superseded by the sheqel.

See also





  1. Form of Third-person singular future tense, lire



  1. lira
  2. lyre

Extensive Definition

Lira is the name of the monetary unit of a number of countries, as well as the former currency of Italy, Malta, San Marino and the Vatican City. The term originates from the value of a Troy pound (Latin libra) of high purity silver, and as such is a direct cognate of the British pound sterling; in some countries, such as Cyprus, the words lira and pound are used as equivalents. L, sometimes in a double-crossed script form (₤) or less often single-crossed (£), is usually used as the symbol.


The word Libra developed its Lira shape from Italian, a language famed for its loss of initial consonants in two-part clusters (ie. Doctor = dottore). Evidence of this still esists in Great Britain and the USA where pound is a weight measurement, and represented by letters lb.

Current uses


The Turkish lira was introduced in the mid 1870s. The New Turkish Lira, equivalent to 1,000,000 old lira, is the current currency of Turkey and Northern Cyprus, issued on January 1 2005.


The Lebanese pound is called "lira or livre" in local languages.


The Syrian pound is called "lira" in national language of Syria, Arabic.


A widely-used name of Jordanian dinar is lira.
Also: The Bulgarian language refers to the English pound as lira (or occasionally paund to reflect English phonology) in opposition to Croatian which refers to the Italian as liri and the English as funti (from German).
lira in Catalan: Lira (moneda)
lira in Danish: Lira
lira in Modern Greek (1453-): Λίρα
lira in French: Lire (monnaie)
lira in Indonesian: Lira
lira in Icelandic: Líra
lira in Italian: Lira (valuta)
lira in Japanese: リラ
lira in Russian: Лира (валюта)
lira in Finnish: Liira
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