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

Keep scrolling for more

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?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Legislation moving through the House could possibly change that. Kevin Bessler, Washington Examiner, "Education officials say more funding is needed for K-12 schools in Illinois," 30 Mar. 2021 By changing how money enchants the world of stuff, policy makers might change what stuff gets built in the first place. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Weekly Planet: Biden’s New Playbook for Greening the Financial System," 30 Mar. 2021 On an active day, Krasker knew, U.S. swap spreads might change by as much as a point. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "The Unwinding of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Has Few Systemic Implications," 30 Mar. 2021 According to Bloomberg, Germany's vaccine commission will change its recommendation on the AstraZeneca jab, saying, for the time being, it should only be used on women and men older than 60. David Meyer, Fortune, "AstraZeneca COVID vaccine: German cities follow Canada in pausing rollout over clotting fears," 30 Mar. 2021 That would radically change college athletics’ century-old notion of amateurism. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "NCAA Faces Showdown Over Player Compensation—and Future of College Sports," 29 Mar. 2021 Results can sometimes change when vaccines are used in larger, more diverse populations outside studies. Mike Stobbe, chicagotribune.com, "Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines prove highly effective in real-world use, CDC says," 29 Mar. 2021 In China, the fate of a foreign company can change overnight. Jane Li, Quartz, "From Norwegian salmon to basketball, a brief history of China’s patriotic consumer boycotts," 29 Mar. 2021 Weight gain and pregnancy can change our feet, as can ageing. Eleanor Morgan, refinery29.com, "The Physical Pandemic: What Has The Last Year Done To Our Bodies?," 29 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The change was made to address concerns that top officials sometimes tried to avoid further scrutiny by not explaining the full circumstances of an officer’s resignation or firing, Morin said. oregonlive, "Springfield police chief put on leave amid complaints that he falsified state record on recruit’s firing," 31 Mar. 2021 One woman, Mauricio Sanchez, said the name change honoring Obama would serve as a painful reminder that her father was deported under his administration. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "Immigration activists protest renaming middle school after 'oppressor' Barack Obama," 31 Mar. 2021 The change comes just as what an improved summer travel season approaches. NBC News, "Delta to stop blocking middle seats May 1," 31 Mar. 2021 The bill is backed by the National Rifle Association but opposed by the state's leading law enforcement groups, which have argued the change could increase crime and officer vulnerability. Natalie Allison, USA TODAY, "Tennessee Legislature passes bill to allow most adults to carry handguns without a permit," 31 Mar. 2021 The change was also made for college and university students who live out of state but attend school in Indiana. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, "Proof of residency no longer needed for COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana," 31 Mar. 2021 The company’s false statement was distributed again Tuesday, saying the brand-name change reflected a shift to more battery-electric vehicles. BostonGlobe.com, "Volkswagen hoaxes media with fake statement on name change," 31 Mar. 2021 The company’s false statement was distributed again Tuesday, saying the brand-name change reflected a shift to more battery-electric vehicles. Tom Krisher, ajc, "Correction: 'Voltswagen' of America story," 31 Mar. 2021 The change marks the first alteration in season structure since 1978. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: How big is the reopening risk?," 31 Mar. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about change

Time Traveler for change

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for change

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Change.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on change

What made you want to look up change? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!