DEFINITION of 'Bourse'

A market organized for the purpose of buying and selling securities, commodities, options and other investments. A bourse is more commonly known as a stock exchange. The word "bourse" is based on the house, belonging to Van der Burse, where merchants would gather and trade with one another.


Historically, those interested in exchanging commodities and other investments met in common areas to discuss transactions. Over time, traders became more organized and the exchange process more codified, resulting in the development of exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Today the word "bourse" is more commonly associated with the Paris stock exchange, the Paris Bourse or Euronext Paris.

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