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verb \ˈchānj\

Simple Definition of change

  • : to become different

  • : to make (someone or something) different

  • : to become something else

Full Definition of change


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to make different in some particular :  alter <never bothered to change the will> b :  to make radically different :  transform <can't change human nature> c :  to give a different position, course, or direction to

  3. 2 a :  to replace with another <let's change the subject> b :  to make a shift from one to another :  switch <always changes sides in an argument> c :  to exchange for an equivalent sum of money (as in smaller denominations or in a foreign currency) <change a 20-dollar bill> d :  to undergo a modification of <foliage changing color> e :  to put fresh clothes or covering on <change a bed>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to become different <her mood changes every hour>

  6. 2 of the moon :  to pass from one phase to another

  7. 3 :  to shift one's means of conveyance :  transfer <on the bus trip he had to change twice>

  8. 4 of the voice :  to shift to lower register :  break

  9. 5 :  to undergo transformation, transition, or substitution <winter changed to spring>

  10. 6 :  to put on different clothes <need a few minutes to change for dinner>

  11. 7 :  exchange, switch <neither liked his seat so they changed with each other>

chang·er noun
change hands
  1. :  to pass from the possession of one owner to that of another <money changes hands many times>

Examples of change

  1. Her mood changes every hour.

  2. He changed from an optimist to a pessimist.

  3. The town has changed little in recent years.

  4. These events have changed me in my attitude to life.

  5. You can't change human nature.

  6. Life changed him from an optimist into a pessimist.

  7. The leaves change color from green to red in the fall.

  8. She changed her name when she got married.

  9. France has changed its monetary unit from the franc to the euro.

  10. change the channel on the TV

Origin of change

Middle English, from Anglo-French changer, from Latin cambiare to exchange, probably of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish camm crooked

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of change

change, alter, vary, modify mean to make or become different. change implies making either an essential difference often amounting to a loss of original identity or a substitution of one thing for another <changed the shirt for a larger size>. alter implies a difference in some particular respect without suggesting loss of identity <slightly altered the original design>. vary stresses a breaking away from sameness, duplication, or exact repetition <vary your daily routine>. modify suggests a difference that limits, restricts, or adapts to a new purpose <modified the building for use by the disabled>.

Rhymes with change




Definition of change

  1. 1 :  the act, process, or result of changing: as a :  alteration <a change in the weather> b :  transformation <a time of vast social change> <going through changes> c :  substitution <a change of scenery> d :  the passage of the moon from one monthly revolution to another; also :  the passage of the moon from one phase to another e :  menopause

  2. 2 :  a fresh set of clothes

  3. 3 British :  exchange 5a

  4. 4 a :  money in small denominations received in exchange for an equivalent sum in larger denominations b :  money returned when a payment exceeds the amount due c :  coins especially of low denominations <a pocketful of change> d :  a negligible additional amount <only six minutes and change left in the game> e :  money 1 <cost a large chunk of change>

  5. 5 :  an order in which a set of bells is struck in change ringing

  6. 6 :  changeup

Examples of change

  1. There has been little if any change in her daily routine.

  2. You shouldn't be afraid of change. Change is a natural part of life.

  3. The years have brought many changes to the town's economy.

  4. We need to make some changes in the system.

  5. Many voters believe that it's time for a change.

  6. We've had to make a slight change in the schedule.

  7. a change for the worse

  8. We've been so busy that a quiet day at home was a welcome change.

  9. We eat at home a lot, so dining out sometimes is a nice change.

  10. Have you got change for a $10 bill?

13th Century

First Known Use of change

13th century

Seen and Heard

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February 9, 2016

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