change

verb
\ ˈchānj How to pronounce change (audio) \
changed; changing

Definition of change

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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 changed his residence from Ohio to California
2a : 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

intransitive verb

1 : to become different some things never change
2 : to undergo transformation, transition, or substitution winter changed to spring
3 : exchange, switch neither liked his seat so they changed with each other
4 : to put on different clothes need a few minutes to change for dinner
5 : to shift one's means of conveyance : transfer on the bus trip he had to change twice
6 of the voice : to shift to lower register : break His voice started to change when he turned 13.
7 of the moon : to pass from one phase (see phase entry 1 sense 1) to another
change hands
: to pass from the possession of one owner to that of another money changes hands many times

change

noun

Definition of change (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act, process, or result of changing: such 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 (see revolution sense 1a) to another also : the passage of the moon from one phase (see phase entry 1 sense 1) to another
e : menopause
2a : money in small denominations received in exchange for an equivalent sum in larger denominations
b : money returned when a payment exceeds the amount due a cashier quick at making change
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 sense 1 cost a large chunk of change
3 : a fresh set of clothes
4 British : exchange sense 5a
5 : changeup
6 : an order in which a set of bells is struck in change ringing

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Other Words from change

Verb

changer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for change

Verb

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

Examples of change in a Sentence

Verb He changed from an optimist to a pessimist. The town has changed little in recent years. These events have changed me in my attitude to life. You can't change human nature. Their relationship seems to have changed for the better. The leaves change color from green to red in the fall. She changed her name when she got married. France has changed its monetary unit from the franc to the euro. change the channel on the TV Noun There has been little if any change in her daily routine. You shouldn't be afraid of change. Change is a natural part of life. The years have brought many changes to the town's economy. We need to make some changes in the system. Many voters believe that it's time for a change. We've had to make a slight change in the schedule. a change for the worse We've been so busy that a quiet day at home was a welcome change. We eat at home a lot, so dining out sometimes is a nice change. Have you got change for a $10 bill?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The measure would change the state's law to mirror federal law, said one of the bill's sponsors, Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White. Nyamekye Daniel, Washington Examiner, "Some law enforcement could see pay increases, more benefits through Georgia bills," 18 Feb. 2021 The Equal Rights Amendment would change women’s lives, agree Kathleen Riebe, a Utah state senator, and Gayle Ruzicka, president of the conservative Utah Eagle Forum. Becky Jacobs, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Should Utah ratify the ERA? State senator, conservative leader debate as bill stalls," 18 Feb. 2021 The senior had just heaved a last-second, desperation shot that wouldn’t change the outcome, but felt like the necessary final act of her high school career. Kevin Reynolds, Dallas News, "Skyline stuns Lakeview Centennial with first-round playoff exit in game that almost didn’t happen," 13 Feb. 2021 On Tuesday, the House introduced 68 new bills including House Bill 3153, which would change Oregon laws on public health emergencies that Gov. Kate Brown has relied upon to issue restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. oregonlive, "Oregon lawmakers on pace to consider close to 4,000 bills in partially remote session," 11 Feb. 2021 Not that the virus would disappear, or that there was zero risk or that the science wouldn’t change in just a few months. New York Times, "How We Decided to Send Our Daughter Back to School," 10 Feb. 2021 Her bill would change the way big corporations can merge to dominate markets and how big companies swallow up small companies or use their size to force them out of business. Matt Delong, Star Tribune, "TALKERS020421," 4 Feb. 2021 Last year, Saleh cut ties with her lawyer, unable to afford the expense and fearing nothing would change. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, "Biden plan could reunite Bay Area families split by Trump's travel ban: 'Precious time has been stolen'," 2 Feb. 2021 Democratic aides said the GOP proposal would not change their plans to move forward with the budget bill this week, setting the stage for party-line passage of Biden's plan. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "Biden invites aid talks with GOP senators," 1 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When faced with crises, our nation has openly reflected on the causes and consequences and come together to foster change. Kristine Martin Anderson, STAT, "The pandemic slingshot: propelling from national crisis to a resilient health care system," 23 Feb. 2021 Variable rate products, like always, are subject to change at any time. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "Here are 6 things consumers need to know about M&T Bank Corp. buying Bridgeport-based People’s United Bank," 23 Feb. 2021 Data are current as of time of publication and may be subject to change in future publications as additional data are reported. BostonGlobe.com, "Watch live at 2 p.m.: Baker gives a COVID-19 update," 23 Feb. 2021 San Francisco is among the counties being added in mid-March, though the dates and counties in each group are subject to change. Time, "New COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery System Starts in Parts of California," 21 Feb. 2021 San Francisco is among the counties being added in mid-March, though the dates and counties in each group are subject to change. Janie Har, Star Tribune, "New vaccine delivery system starts in parts of California," 21 Feb. 2021 Note that events are subject to change after publication. New York Times, "Visit a Botanical Garden and Brew Kombucha," 20 Feb. 2021 To avoid a courtroom battle over that issue, both the prosecution and defense agreed to a change in Winslow’s guilty plea, swapping out one charge for another. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ex-NFL player Winslow II agrees to 14-year prison sentence in rape case," 19 Feb. 2021 Interplanetary mission timings are always subject to change depending on how things progress, of course, but a timeline is already in place for Perseverance’s first 100 days on Mars. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "The First 100 Days on Mars: How NASA’s Perseverance Rover Will Begin Its Mission," 18 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'change.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of change

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for change

Verb and Noun

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

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Learn More about change

Time Traveler for change

Time Traveler

The first known use of change was in the 13th century

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Statistics for change

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Change.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for change

change

verb

English Language Learners Definition of change

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to become different
: to make (someone or something) different
: to become something else

change

noun

English Language Learners Definition of change (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of becoming different or of causing someone or something to become different
: the act of replacing one thing with another
: the act of moving from one plane, train, etc., to another in order to continue a journey

change

verb
\ ˈchānj How to pronounce change (audio) \
changed; changing

Kids Definition of change

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make or become different changing autumn leaves I like how you've changed this room.
2 : to give a different position, course, or direction to I changed my plans.
3 : to put one thing in the place of another : switch Our teacher made us change places.
4 : to give or receive an equal amount of money in usually smaller units of value or in the money of another country Can you change a ten-dollar bill?
5 : to put fresh clothes or covering on change a bed
6 : to put on different clothes We always change for dinner.
change hands
: to pass from one person's possession or ownership to another's The restaurant has changed hands.

change

noun

Kids Definition of change (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act, process, or result of making or becoming different There's been a change in plans. a change of seasons
2 : something that is different from what is usual or expected The trip was a welcome change from our routine.
3 : a fresh set of clothes Pack several changes for your vacation.
4 : money in small units of value received in exchange for an equal amount in larger units Do you have change for a ten-dollar bill?
5 : money returned when a payment is more than the amount due Don't forget your change.
6 : money in coins I have two dollars in change.

Choose the Right Synonym for change

Verb

change, alter, and vary mean to make or become different. change may be used for making such a difference in a thing that it becomes something else. They've changed the house into a restaurant. Change may also be used for substituting one thing for another. We changed our seats for better ones. alter is used for making a small difference in something. He altered the picture by adding color. vary is used for making a difference in order to break away from a routine. The boss varied our tasks.

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Comments on change

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