phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

To gain currency

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 21, 2006

In Reply to: To gain currency posted by Chandrika on May 21, 2006

: I am interested in knowing the exact meaning of the phrase 'to gain currency' and how it can be used in sentences.

To gain means to obtain or secure. Currency has several meanings, all apparently related. The Oxford English Dictionary lists a few, including: "5. The fact or quality of being current, prevalent, or generally reported and accepted among mankind; prevalence, vogue; esp. of ideas, reports, etc.
1722 Lond. Gaz. No. 6077/2 The Currency of the ordinary Distempers. 1798 FERRIAR Cert. Varieties Man 213 The story..seems to have gained currency. 1840 CARLYLE Heroes 321 Johnson's Writings, which once had such currency and celebrity, are now as it were disowned by the young generation. 1862 H. SPENCER First Princ. II. iv. S53 The currency of this belief continues."

Further examples (made up by myself): At one time the idea that split infinitives were bad had gained currency among the mandarins of good English, but Winston Churchill, among many others, punctured that balloon. In the U.S., the belief that lowering taxes would inevitably result in greater capital investment and therefore increased federal revenue gained currency among Reagan's supporters in spite of George H.W. Bush's acid characterization of this notion as "voodoo economics." ♪ SS ♪